October 13, 2005
Iraqis brave enough to vote again will do so Saturday, this time on a constitution.
It is still being written and some people won't have a copy, but the vote is going ahead as scheduled.
Among other things, Sharia law will be the basis of family law.
That's the most radical of the Muslim religious interpretations.
Who knows far beyond family law it will go?
There's plenty to sort out, including territorial and religious differences between the Shia, Sunnis and Kurds, as well as who gets the oil revenue and whether there will be a federal-type government or regional powers, like states.
The terrorists are ratcheting-up their bombings, as they did before the last vote.
No one knows for sure what will happen next.
Another vote is scheduled in December on the legislative assembly.
One thing is certain: this is an extremely important process.
Not only will it determine the future of Iraq, it will also determine when the U.S. and its coalition allies can start withdrawing troops.
Regardless of the election results, that may not happen until sufficient Iraqis are properly trained to assume responsibility for the defense and security of their country.
I'm Cal Thomas in Washington.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.