HAKIM TO BUSH: WHO CARES WHAT YOU THINK?
When the new Iraqi government assumes office, ... Iraqi leaders will also have to review and possibly amend the constitution to ensure that this historic document earns the broad support of all Iraqi communities....
--Bush speech, 1/10/06
The leader of Iraq's most powerful party indicated today that his group would block substantive changes to the country's new constitution, despite a promise to Sunnis to consider amendments.
... Abdul Azziz al-Hakim, the leader of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution, the most influential group in the ruling Shiite coalition, today said that "the first principle is not to change the essence of the constitution," according to The Associated Press.
...Mr. Hakim appeared to rule out in particular any change in the constitution's provisions allowing the creation of strong regional provinces, a point that had angered many Sunnis....
--New York Times today
The Interior Ministry's Special Police are the most capable of the Iraqi police forces.... Many of these Special Police forces are professional, they represent all aspects of society. But recently some have been accused of committing abuses against Iraqi civilians. That's unacceptable. That's unacceptable to the United States government; it's unacceptable to the Iraqi government, as well. And Iraqi leaders are committed to stopping these abuses.
--same Bush speech
Mr. Hakim's speech today followed tough statements he made last week in the wake of suicide bombs that killed more than 200 people over two days.
Mr. Hakim criticized the United States and Sunni parties that encouraged the insurgency....
Mr. Hakim's criticism of the United States referred to recent pressure from the American forces to rein in the Iraqi security forces, which are under Shiite control.
--same New York Times article