Iraqi Parliament Adjourns, American Soldiers Continue To Dieby Doug Mataconis
Apparently content with the fact that their security is being guaranteed by guys from Topeka, Dubuque, and Oklahoma City, the Iraqi Parliament has decided to take the summer off:
BAGHDAD — Iraq’s parliament on Monday shrugged off U.S. criticism and adjourned for a month, as key lawmakers declared there was no point waiting any longer for the prime minister to deliver Washington-demanded benchmark legislation for their vote.
Speaker Mahmoud al-Mashhadani closed the final three-hour session without a quorum present and declared lawmakers would not reconvene until Sept. 4. That date is just 11 days before the top U.S. military and political officials in Iraq must report to Congress on American progress in taming violence and organizing conditions for sectarian reconciliation.
The recess, coupled with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s failure to get the key draft laws before legislators, may nourish growing opposition to the war among U.S. lawmakers, who could refuse to fund it.
Critics have questioned how Iraqi legislators could take a summer break while U.S. forces are fighting and dying to create conditions under which important laws could be passed in the service of ending sectarian political divisions and bloodshed.
But in leaving parliament, many lawmakers blamed al-Maliki.
“Even if we sit next month, there’s no guarantee that important business will be done,” said Mahmoud Othman, a prominent Kurdish legislator. The parliament had already extended its session by a month, having initially planned a recess for July and August.
“There are Iraqi-Iraqi and Iraqi-American differences that have not been resolved,” Othman said of the benchmark legislation. “The government throws the ball in our court, but we say that it is in the government’s court and that of the politicians. They sent us nothing (to debate or vote).”
The September reports by Ambassador Ryan Crocker and U.S. commander Gen. David Petraeus were to assess progress by the Iraqi government and its security forces on 18 political and security benchmarks.
Something tells me that the September report card will be less than satisfactory, but, then again, that’s less than surprising when the Iraqi government basically decides to take the month of August off and let Uncle Sam fight it’s battles.
Tell me again why we’re fighting for these people ?