Baghdad -- Drafting a constitution for a country torn between a future as a democracy or a theocracy is "Harder than people think" said Iraqi Constitutional Congress member Ihmad Atusa. "We didn't see anything wrong with using the Internet to view a wide variety of religious and historical documents from which to glean useful ideas."
Defending their online "research," which reportedly included a $5000 payment to ConstitutionsRUS.com, Atusa attempted to justify the practice saying "How many Americans could sit down and draft a constitution? In two years, much less two months!" More people in your country can recite the Miranda warning than can identify the first Amendment to the Constitution!"
The United Nations today joined the E.U. in condemning Iraq's constitutional plagiarism and sent white-helmeted proctors to make sure the Iraqis "Do their own work and provide proper citations to earlier documents including the Code of Hammurabi, The Ten Commandments, the Koran, the Magna Carta, the Bill of Rights, etc.
US President George Bush was strangely silent when asked about purchasing term papers online, etc. "Page-Arisen, that's like when you copy someone else's test answers, someone smarter than me in the classroom, cheating is that what it is."
Supporting Atusa's claim, less than half of Americans polled could identify the 19th Amendment, one which is highly unlikely for inclusion in the new Iraqi Consitution. (Musical Hint: David Bowie and Suffragette City)
Constitutional scholars including Supreme Court nominee John Roberts reported noticing "striking similarities" between draft Iraqi constitutions, and the Bill of Rights. "When I read, 'the right of the people to keep and bear AK-47's and Rocket-Propelled Grenades shall not be infringed" I was a little concerned," said Roberts. "It appeared to me they'd copied our Second Amendment and just changed a few words here and there."
"The right to free speech," which covers the derriere' of satire writers poking fun at celebrities, aging rock stars, government officials, and even themselves, was modified to state "The right to freely recite the Koran," in yet another suspicious phrase. "Inventive, yes, original, no" quipped Supreme Justice Sandra Night O'Conner."
Disagreements between Sunni and Shiite constitution writers have included some doozies over prepositional phrases, word usage, and attribution. While Microsoft Word has mostly eliminated spelling errors, grammatical preferences have led constitutional scholars to sneer, mock, and car bomb writers in the other camp. "Writing in an environment of terror is a new experience" said one ghost writer, brought in from Syria. It's rather like writing for TheSpoof.com. Just get it done!" they all say. "If you make too many edits we will Control-D you!"
"While drafting of a new constitution is a slow slog, progress is being made," said Atusa. "At least we've figured who gets to sign it first, big and bold, like your John Hancock did. It's Abdul, who owns the laser printer."