Iraqi Blueprint for Tyranny? the Proposed Iraqi Bill of Rights Employs Plenty of Pleasant-Sounding Platitudes Similar to the U.S. Constitution. but So Did the Soviet Constitution, Which Consolidated Tyranny
Our system of government is premised on the self-evident truth that (in the words of the Declaration of Independence) "Men ... are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights." Based on this premise, the U.S. Bill of Rights does not grant rights; it instead protects already-existing rights by prohibiting government from intruding on those rights. On the other hand, the proposed Iraqi Bill of Rights, which would become part of that nation's constitution, is based on the fallacy that government grants rights. The difference is fundamental, since if government "grants" rights, government can also withdraw or limit the rights it grants. And so the draft of the Iraqi Bill of Rights, like the old Soviet Constitution, is replete with qualifications that make the rights it grants meaningless (e.g., "the law regulates the exercise of these freedoms"). That is, you have these freedoms except when the law says you do not have these freedoms.
The proposed Iraqi Bill of Rights is also reminiscent of the Soviet Constitution in that it proclaims so-called collective rights empowering the state, such as a fight to healthcare or housing. Such "rights" can only be provided by taking from some to give to others, and inevitably leads to government control of healthcare, housing, etc.
Below are some of the rights enumerated in the proposed Iraqi Constitution. You decide whether the proposed new Iraqi Bill of Rights empowers the people or the government, whether it guarantees individual rights as inalienable or revocable by the government, and whether it more closely resembles the U.S. Bill of Rights or the tyrannical model of the former Soviet state.
Individual Rights U.S. Bill of Rights Freedom of Speech Congress shall make no law and Press ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.... (1st Amendment) Freedom of Congress shall make no law Religion respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.... (1st Amendment) Right to Keep and A well-regulated Militia, being Bear Arms necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. (2nd Amendment) Freedom of Congress shall make no law ... Assembly and abridging ... the right of Petition the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. (1st Amendment) Right Against The right of the people to Search and Seizure be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. (4th Amendment) Right to Jury Trial In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed ... and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation.... (6th Amendment) Additional The enumeration in the Individual Rights Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. …