Jim Woolsey has a surprising idea for Iraq: a king.
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