What's the solution for Iraq?

The Honorable James Woolsey is the Chairman of Paladin's Strategic Advisory Group. He is a partner at Booz Allen Hamilton and from 1993 to 1995 was the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).  He endorsed Senator John McCain for president and served as one of McCain's foreign policy advisors.  In his government service, his law practice, and his service on corporate boards, Mr. Woolsey has focused on the practical application of innovative technology and on the legal and managerial requirements that are necessary to accomplish this. During the last two decades, he has served on the boards of fourteen companies; almost all have been significantly involved in using high technology to improve security as well as provide other benefits to private and public sector consumers. He was an early member of the board of directors of Yurie Systems, Inc., a provider of ATM access technology and equipment and access concentrators, which, in 1997, was named by Business Week as the fastest-growing corporation in the U.S. As Under Secretary of the Navy, as a member of the President's Blue Ribbon Commission on Defense Management (Packard Commission), the Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the U.S. (Rumsfeld Commission, 1998) and as Director of Central Intelligence, Mr. Woolsey has been identified with promoting technological innovation in the interest of improving security.

Mr. Woolsey received his B.A. Degree from Stanford University (With Great Distinction, Phi Beta Kappa), and a M.A. Degree from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and an L.L.B. Degree from Yale Law School, where he was Managing Editor of the Yale Law Journal.

  • Transcript

TRANSCRIPT

Jim Woolsey: If I could add one thing, a couple three years ago Bernard Lewis and I wrote an article in the Wall Street Journal that fell with a thud.  No one was interested.  Now what we’ve said was, rather than starting from scratch and coming up with a whole new constitution and governmental structure for Iraq, why not use the constitution that was drafted and implemented in the 1920s that was taken away from them by the … and the … at the end of the ‘50s?  It was a model for the Arab world.  It was a constitutional monarchy.  They had a Hashemite king, a Shiite prime minister.  They had a lower house.   It was elected.  The only change you’d really have to make would be . . . that you had to make initially, was the king would have to issue an edict saying women get to vote, because they didn’t get to vote back then.  But the constitution had an amendment provision in it. It had an appointed senior chamber of Senate, elected lower chamber.  And Bernard’s point – and he’s the scholar of the Arab world, not me – was that Arabs respect tradition and history so much that you’re much better off building on something that had been there before rather than trying to start fresh in the midst of a war.  Well we couldn’t get anybody interested in that.  And it was his idea, and I still think he was right.

Recorded on: 7/2/07


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