Think the Iraqi Parliament should take a 2 month vacation?
Lawmakers divided over whether to keep U.S. troops in Iraq are finding common ground on at least one topic: They are furious that Iraqi politicians are considering a lengthy break this summer."If they go off on vacation for two months while our troops fight -- that would be the outrage of outrages," said Rep. Chris Shays, R-Connecticut.
The Iraq parliament's recess, starting this July, would likely come without Baghdad politicians reaching agreements considered key to easing sectarian tensions. Examples include regulating distribution of the country's oil wealth and reversing measures that have excluded many Sunnis from jobs and government positions because of Baath party membership.
Think there's any coincidence in Cheney's 'surprise' visit?
Cheney also said that, while he didn't want to butt in on domestic legislative issues, he did make Iraqi leaders aware of U.S. concerns about talk of a two-month summer recess. With many pending important issues, including how to share oil revenues, "any undue delay would be difficult to explain," Cheney said.
Note any irony? "...butt in on domestic legislative issues..."?
John Kerry says no coincidence:
Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) issued the following statement today, in response to Vice President’s Dick Cheney meetings in Iraq with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. Both Ambassador Ryan Crocker and a senior Administration official admitted to reporters today that part of the reason behind Cheney’s trip is to simply ask the Iraqi Parliament not to take a planned two month vacation this summer, given the country’s ongoing civil war. Kerry first spoke out against the Iraqi politicians’ vacation in a floor statement last Tuesday.
“It was very disappointing to hear the Vice President say that the Iraqis’ decision to take a vacation while our troops are dying is ‘a sovereign issue to them.’ He should have delivered a much tougher message to the Iraqis, that they must start working overtime to find a political solution to end the violence – not leave things unfinished for two months.
“No American soldier should die so that the Iraqi politicians can take a vacation. An Iraqi Parliament that spends July and August sitting around a swimming pool while their country descends into further unrest and civil war does not deserve America’s support. With every passing day it becomes clearer that the US should not be sending our brave troops into the middle of a brutal, chaotic civil war that Iraq’s own leaders are unwilling to solve.”
What John said.