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Iraqi Parliament Holiday Sinks the Surge

Bush's "surge" strategy has been deal a death blow by the Iraqi Parliament as reported by the Guardian.

Iraq's parliament adjourned Monday for an August recess without receiving from the government a series of U.S.-backed draft laws designed to promote national unity and stem support for the Sunni-led insurgency.

Speaker Mahmoud al-Mashhadani closed the three-hour session without a quorum present and declared it would not resume work until Sept. 4.

The closing of Parliament guarantees that General Petreaus will report in September that there has been zero progress on the primary goal of the surge which was to create "breathing space" for the Iraqi government to achieve a reconciliation of the country's warring factions as Bush explained during a February news conference:

Bush: "And so we will help this Iraqi government succeed. And the first step for success is to do something about the sectarian violence in Baghdad so they can have breathing space in order to do the political work necessary to assure that different factions in Baghdad, factions that are recovering from years of tyranny, that there's a hopeful future for them and their families. I would call that political breathing space. And by providing this political breathing space -- in other words, giving the Maliki government a chance to reconcile and do the work necessary to achieve reconciliation -- it will hasten the day in which we can change our force posture in Iraq."

While we succeeded in giving Maliki his "breathing space" by reducing the mayhem and slaughter in Baghdad somewhat, his government failed to seize this opportunity to promote reconciliation and, instead, continued to pursue its narrow sectarian interests as reported by the Guardian:

Legislators blamed the government of Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for failing to construct compromise versions of the key pieces of legislation such as the so-called oil law, intended to ensure a fair distribution of Iraq's considerable oil wealth.

``We were supposed to discuss important issues in the month of July, but we did not. Sitting in August is unconstitutional and even if we sit next month, that's no guarantee that the important business will be done,'' said Mahmoud Othman, a prominent Kurdish lawmaker.

Undoubtedly, Bush will now invent a new argument employing greatly tortured logic (i.e., "Al Qaeda") in an attempt to justify the continued sacrifice of our troops in Iraq in order to prop up that country's abysmally incompetent and largely absent government. He will have to make the case that US troops should continue fighting and dying in Iraq while parliament members and government officials are vacationing in Dubai, the Greek isles or the French Riviera.

The surge has failed in its primary goal of promoting reconciliation among Iraq's warring parties and there's little Petraeus can say to alter that reality. Time and again, our military has performed magnificently in Iraq while the civilian leaderships in both Baghdad and Washington DC have failed to accomplish any sort of substantive progress in constructing a functioning state out of the wreckage of the Hussien regime.

Game. Set. Match. It's time to bring the troops home and let the Iraqis fight this out on their own.


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Comments (3)

groucho:

Let's give our troops in Iraq the month of August off, same as the US and Iraqi governments. Redeploy for a little much needed R&R and see what happens in their absence. See what happens to the level of violence without our troops as targets. See what the Iraqis do on their own for a little while. Seems only fair, they could sure use a break.

bryanD:

Have you forgotten last week? November ("at least") is the new September.
While Petraeus will still issue a September report, the meme is (conveniently due to the Iraq parliaments' recess) that the report can be no longer definitive. A make-up month is thus allowed. And the "At Least" is a floater if I ever saw one.

Democratic leadership pretended to care though no Emmy nominations will be forthcoming. It's the war that keeps giving.

bryanD:

My bad! It's "til 2009", surge or no. Petreaus' spokesman called it "contingency", but that's crap because contingencies don't have an expiration date. Contingencies keep going and going...
So they gave it the aide de camp to deliver the bad news in a toned down way. I almost forgot it, and it was just announced last week.
See my first sentence, post 2. Forked tongue, indeed.


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Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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