Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Realities on the flag fix

Abeer Mohammed and Solomon Moore offer "Iraq Purges Flag of Signs of Hussein" on A12 of this morning's New York Times. Skip it unless you just want some bad trivia. Lelia Fadel explained what was going on yesterday in "No More Stars" (Baghdad Observer, McClatchy Newspapers):

The latest version of the Iraq flag, which is to be raised across the nation and in Iraqi embassies immediately, is temporary. Today the parliament passed two amendments to two Iraqi laws, removing the requirement that "Allahu Akbar" on the Iraq flag must be written in the handwriting of Saddam Hussein and another that allowed them to remove the three stars and change the interpretation of the colors from Arab colors to Islamic colors.
But it is another band-aid solution. The constitution requires that the parliament pass a new law to pick a flag for Iraq and a national anthem.
"Iraqis your council has chosen the new flag that will be raised over constitutional and non-constitutional establishments and Iraqi embassies and the Kurdistan Region until the certification on a permanent flag for Iraq," the speaker of the parliament, Mahmoud al Mashhadani said today.
In technical terms Iraq still has no flag and no anthem. Little has been decided that lasts in Iraq. The heads of political blocs put the problem off for another year. In a year maybe the problem will again be solved at a later date.

In other words, the flag 'solution' accomplished nothing. And remember there's still no 2008 budget (though they plan to take up the issue on Thursday).

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