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Americans Continue to Suffer and Die While Iraq's Parliament Goes On Vacation

JBS | August 1, 2007
John F. McManus

The Iraq parliament has adjourned until September 4th. But American troops don't get such a break from the 120 degree heat and the constant confrontations with insurgents and roadside bombs.

Follow this link to the original source: " Despite Appeals, Iraqi Legislators Take Break "

As the number of U.S. fatalities in Iraq climbs toward 3,700, and with no end to the killing and maiming in sight, the U.S.-backed government in Iraq has decided to take a month-long vacation. Meanwhile, no such vacation has been arranged for the U.S. forces.

It had been hoped that the 275-member parliament would address two very contentious issues separating the nation's feuding factions. One would arrange for equitable distribution of oil revenue among the Shiites, Sunnis, and Kurds. The other would allow members of the Sunni-led Baath Party formerly led by Saddam Hussein to again be eligible for government posts. But neither of these issues has even been presented to parliament by Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki. Lawmakers in Iraq defended their decision to take a vacation because there was nothing of substance given to them to debate and vote on.

When the parliament returns in September, its reconvening will occur only 11 days before General David Petraeus' long-awaited report about conditions in Iraq. He is supposed to present an opinion about the success of the surge in U.S. forces launched last January. Both his assessment and a similar one crafted by U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker will address many issues, including the very matters parliament has refused to discuss.

The Bush administration continues to claim progress in the four-year-old struggle. But there are reasonable fears that internal strife will worsen because the Sunni faction has threatened to withdraw from the government. Without its participation, the government can accomplish nothing meaningful and the sectarian violence will likely escalate.

Meanwhile, Americans continue to die and suffer crippling wounds. And the cost of this ill-conceived war will continue to drain the U.S. treasury. It is well past the time when terminating the U.S. presence should end.

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