War doesn't leave time for vacations
With sectarian violence running high in Iraq, word has come that the country's parliament may take a two-month summer recess. It's easy to understand why any Iraqi would seek a vacation from war, but this is ridiculous. Although a decision hasn't...
With sectarian violence running high in Iraq, word has come that the country's parliament may take a two-month summer recess. It's easy to understand why any Iraqi would seek a vacation from war, but this is ridiculous. Although a decision hasn't yet been finalized, one can only wonder why this idea would even be considered while factions continue to draw so much Iraqi and international blood.
That's especially true because Parliament has so much unfinished work on its plate. According to The Associated Press, it needs to take action on several measures that might ease the country's civil war, such as regulating distribution of the country's oil wealth and reversing measures that have excluded many Sunnis from jobs and government positions.
This latest faux pas is yet another example of an Iraqi leadership void. President Jalal Talabani has not been able to enforce the country's laws nor bring combatants to the table. His influence among leaders of surrounding countries, which could help to end the conflict, also appears nil.
Talabani and his Parliament certainly would lose U.S. support if they move ahead with a recess plan. Congressional Democrats already have issued a virtual mandate to Iraq's leaders by virtue of their support for establishing a withdrawal date. Although President George Bush has vetoed that action, he could lose the support of Congressional Republicans if they perceive Iraq's political cognoscente have left American troops as human shields while they go on holiday.
This foolish idea raises doubt about the level of Iraqi resolve to end the fighting and bring factions together. History already has demonstrated that only a violent dictator, Saddam Hussein, could do so in the past. It's not an exaggeration to suggest the tenets of democracy offer too much freedom in a society that historically has been ruled with an iron hand.
If the Bush administration doesn't set Iraq's leadership straight on its vacation plans, it might as well abandon any hope of a continuing ground presence. Americans won't stand for such a slap in the face.