Beating the Heat

As our young men and women spend the next month sweating in the 130 degree heat of a Baghdad summer, risking their lives to build a better future for the Iraqi people, the elected representatives of the people of Iraq - men who will have a hand in running that future our military is trying to build for them - have decided to beat the heat and take the month off.
It is totally, completely, incomprehensible.

Their excuse? They've got nothing to do:
Lawmakers said the government had yet to present them with any of the laws. The parliament had earlier signaled its intention to go into recess in August after cutting short its summer break that normally starts in July.

"We do not have anything to discuss in the parliament, no laws or constitutional amendments, nothing from the government. Differences between the political factions have delayed the laws," Kurdish lawmaker Mahmoud Othman told Reuters.

The parliament is due to reconvene on September 4, just two weeks before the top U.S. general in Iraq, General David Petraeus, and Washington's envoy to Baghdad, Ryan Crocker, are due to report to Congress on the success of U.S. President George W. Bush's new Iraq strategy and make recommendations.
Just a second here. Hold the phone. They claim they've got nothing to do? How about ironing out some of those "differences between the political factions" that have paralyzed the government these many months. They all know the issues involved; reconciliation, the oil revenue sharing plan, a federalism arrangement for power sharing, local elections, and allowing former Baathist party members to get jobs in government. While they're at it, they might think of reforming the civil service to deal with rampant corruption, hold some hearings on where those billions in reconstruction money is actually going, and tell Mookie al-Sadr to take a hike.

But hey! They've got nothing to do so let them flee the capitol for those sandy beaches in Dubai. I hear the Gulf water is fine this time of year - if you don't mind the film of oil that covers the surface. Maybe that's why beach volleyball is so popular although the images of women in burkini's prancing around on the beach would be enough to drive me back to Baghdad.

Actually, I think we should make those weasels meet outdoors in the same 130 degree heat our boys are enduring. We could strap 100 pounds of gear on them for the whole month and tell them they don't get to go inside until they come to an agreement on at least some of the political benchmarks set by the Administration and Congress. Just to make it interesting, we could lob a few mortars over their heads once and a while to give them the same feeling our guys are experiencing every time they go out on patrol.

All sorts of images come to mind to describe the utter contempt I feel for these bozos. Nero fiddling while Rome burned is particularly apt although history tells us that Nero didn't fiddle and that Rome actually needed a good fire to clear out the disease-infested slums where the fire began. Things just got a little out of hand, that's all.

No need to start a fire in Iraq. The conflagration that currently engulfs that bloody country has been burning for 4 years and shows little sign of abating. And there's still plenty of hatred on all sides of the sectarian divide to feed the flames of violence and death for the foreseeable future. That the Iraqi government has chosen this time of all times to abandon their posts and refuse to continue trying to settle their differences shows a lack of respect for the United States and its president who has expended every ounce of political capital - and some he didn't have - to keep the American commitment from faltering.

And what of our military? We have stretched the ability of our army to deal with conflicts to the absolute limit. Don't believe me? Ask the incoming Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff:
He said he was committed to "resetting, reconstituting and revitalizing our armed forces," acknowledging, "There is strain. We are stretched." Although recruitment and retention generally remain good and "morale is still high," he said, "I worry about the toll this pace of operations is taking on [service members and their families], our equipment and on our ability to respond to other crises and contingencies.

"The U.S. military remains the strongest in all the world, but it is not unbreakable," Mullen said. "Force reset in all its forms cannot wait until the war in Iraq is over."

Mullen also had this bit of cheery news about our friends in the Iraqi parliament:

Levin expressed skepticism that Iraqi political leaders can take the necessary steps toward reconciliation, saying they "remain frozen by their history." He described the Iraqi parliament as "at a standstill," with nearly every session since November forced to adjourn because too few legislators showed up.

Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va.) voiced similar doubts about the ability of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government to meet its commitments.

"So the surge is moving forward successfully," he said. "But the Maliki government is sliding backwards and is failing in the partnership that was established as the predicate, the foundation, for the surge concept."
It's not all the PM's fault. Maliki got the lawmakers to stick around in July, foiling the Council's plan for two months of lying in the hammock and snoozing the nation's future away. But for the rest, one can't help get the feeling that the Prime Minister is just not up to the challenge of enticing the factions to come together and do what is necessary to begin the process of putting Humpty Dumpty back together again. In the end, he appears to me to be an empty suit, tugged this way and that by various Shia factions and totally incapable of standing up to those who thirst for the blood of Sunnis or seek revenge for Saddam's atrocities.

When General Petreaus delivers his report in September, Congress will have to weigh both the successes and failures of the surge as well as the prospect for any progress from the Iraqi government.

For the former, I have no doubt that there will be encouraging news about the security situation in several parts of the country. As for the latter, while Petreaus may seek to put the best face possible on political developments, the cold hard truth is that the Iraqi Council of Representatives does not reconvene from their fun and games until September 4 - a scant two weeks before the American general must face the Congress and try and convince them that the Iraqis are serious about doing the things they simply must do to heal the gaping wounds in the national polity which fuel the violence that make Iraq such an aching tragedy.

Rick Moran is associate editor of American Thinker and proprietor of the website Right Wing Nuthouse.
As our young men and women spend the next month sweating in the 130 degree heat of a Baghdad summer, risking their lives to build a better future for the Iraqi people, the elected representatives of the people of Iraq - men who will have a hand in running that future our military is trying to build for them - have decided to beat the heat and take the month off.
It is totally, completely, incomprehensible.

Their excuse? They've got nothing to do:
Lawmakers said the government had yet to present them with any of the laws. The parliament had earlier signaled its intention to go into recess in August after cutting short its summer break that normally starts in July.

"We do not have anything to discuss in the parliament, no laws or constitutional amendments, nothing from the government. Differences between the political factions have delayed the laws," Kurdish lawmaker Mahmoud Othman told Reuters.

The parliament is due to reconvene on September 4, just two weeks before the top U.S. general in Iraq, General David Petraeus, and Washington's envoy to Baghdad, Ryan Crocker, are due to report to Congress on the success of U.S. President George W. Bush's new Iraq strategy and make recommendations.
Just a second here. Hold the phone. They claim they've got nothing to do? How about ironing out some of those "differences between the political factions" that have paralyzed the government these many months. They all know the issues involved; reconciliation, the oil revenue sharing plan, a federalism arrangement for power sharing, local elections, and allowing former Baathist party members to get jobs in government. While they're at it, they might think of reforming the civil service to deal with rampant corruption, hold some hearings on where those billions in reconstruction money is actually going, and tell Mookie al-Sadr to take a hike.

But hey! They've got nothing to do so let them flee the capitol for those sandy beaches in Dubai. I hear the Gulf water is fine this time of year - if you don't mind the film of oil that covers the surface. Maybe that's why beach volleyball is so popular although the images of women in burkini's prancing around on the beach would be enough to drive me back to Baghdad.

Actually, I think we should make those weasels meet outdoors in the same 130 degree heat our boys are enduring. We could strap 100 pounds of gear on them for the whole month and tell them they don't get to go inside until they come to an agreement on at least some of the political benchmarks set by the Administration and Congress. Just to make it interesting, we could lob a few mortars over their heads once and a while to give them the same feeling our guys are experiencing every time they go out on patrol.

All sorts of images come to mind to describe the utter contempt I feel for these bozos. Nero fiddling while Rome burned is particularly apt although history tells us that Nero didn't fiddle and that Rome actually needed a good fire to clear out the disease-infested slums where the fire began. Things just got a little out of hand, that's all.

No need to start a fire in Iraq. The conflagration that currently engulfs that bloody country has been burning for 4 years and shows little sign of abating. And there's still plenty of hatred on all sides of the sectarian divide to feed the flames of violence and death for the foreseeable future. That the Iraqi government has chosen this time of all times to abandon their posts and refuse to continue trying to settle their differences shows a lack of respect for the United States and its president who has expended every ounce of political capital - and some he didn't have - to keep the American commitment from faltering.

And what of our military? We have stretched the ability of our army to deal with conflicts to the absolute limit. Don't believe me? Ask the incoming Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff:
He said he was committed to "resetting, reconstituting and revitalizing our armed forces," acknowledging, "There is strain. We are stretched." Although recruitment and retention generally remain good and "morale is still high," he said, "I worry about the toll this pace of operations is taking on [service members and their families], our equipment and on our ability to respond to other crises and contingencies.

"The U.S. military remains the strongest in all the world, but it is not unbreakable," Mullen said. "Force reset in all its forms cannot wait until the war in Iraq is over."

Mullen also had this bit of cheery news about our friends in the Iraqi parliament:

Levin expressed skepticism that Iraqi political leaders can take the necessary steps toward reconciliation, saying they "remain frozen by their history." He described the Iraqi parliament as "at a standstill," with nearly every session since November forced to adjourn because too few legislators showed up.

Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va.) voiced similar doubts about the ability of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government to meet its commitments.

"So the surge is moving forward successfully," he said. "But the Maliki government is sliding backwards and is failing in the partnership that was established as the predicate, the foundation, for the surge concept."
It's not all the PM's fault. Maliki got the lawmakers to stick around in July, foiling the Council's plan for two months of lying in the hammock and snoozing the nation's future away. But for the rest, one can't help get the feeling that the Prime Minister is just not up to the challenge of enticing the factions to come together and do what is necessary to begin the process of putting Humpty Dumpty back together again. In the end, he appears to me to be an empty suit, tugged this way and that by various Shia factions and totally incapable of standing up to those who thirst for the blood of Sunnis or seek revenge for Saddam's atrocities.

When General Petreaus delivers his report in September, Congress will have to weigh both the successes and failures of the surge as well as the prospect for any progress from the Iraqi government.

For the former, I have no doubt that there will be encouraging news about the security situation in several parts of the country. As for the latter, while Petreaus may seek to put the best face possible on political developments, the cold hard truth is that the Iraqi Council of Representatives does not reconvene from their fun and games until September 4 - a scant two weeks before the American general must face the Congress and try and convince them that the Iraqis are serious about doing the things they simply must do to heal the gaping wounds in the national polity which fuel the violence that make Iraq such an aching tragedy.

Rick Moran is associate editor of American Thinker and proprietor of the website Right Wing Nuthouse.