Iraq's National Assembly voted unanimously Monday to extend for a week the deadline to complete talks on the country's new constitution.
The committee drafting the document asked for an extension after it failed to reach a compromise by Monday's deadline after months of talks. The new deadline is August 22.
Without the extension, the government would have dissolved, requiring new elections in December and starting the process again, a prospect the United States has strongly opposed.
On one hand, this is a setback as the deadline wasn't met and until Iraq has a constitution further political progress is impossible.
However, extension isn't giving up, and there is every chance that the Iraqi's will find a solution to their remaining issues. It took a long time, and not a little genius, for our founding fathers to hit upon the compromises that enables 13 reletively similary colonies to form a union. Iraq's challenges are more severe and no one should have expected this process to be easy. From what I can tell, lots of progress has been although the thorniest issues remain.
It is also worth remembering that they very seriousness way the Iraqi people and the delegates are treating this process is itself a good sign.