Thursday, May 10, 2007

Permanent Vacation

So, Darth Cheney visited Iraq to urge lawmakers there to forgo their usual 2 month summer vacation.

"I'll be blunt: I told some of the Iraqis with whom I met that we are buying them [time] for political reconciliation, and that every day we buy it with American blood," [Defense Secretary Robert M.]Gates said at a Senate hearing Wednesday. "For this group to go out for two months, it would, in my opinion, be unacceptable."

Unacceptable to say the least.

But what really sticks in your CaliBlogger's craw is the fact that this is the first time since the invasion they have been asked to do so.

Which means that since the general election of 2005 the Iraqi legislature has enjoyed 2 two-month vacations.

During its July and August vacation in 2005 139 American soldiers died, during the same period in 2006 the number of American deaths was 108.

247 Americans died in Iraq while its government was out of town.

And despite the much vaunted surge, expectations are that the level of violence will hold steady, if not escalate in the coming months.

But whether or not the Iraqi's heed dead-eye Dick's admonition to not play hooky this year, as William Arkin points out, the Iraqi National Congress is so ineffectual even when it is nominally in session that their presence or absence makes little real difference.

Which, in a nutshell, is why Bush's hopes for "victory" continue to prove so elusive.

No-one, not the military, certainly not the majority of Americans, not even the Republicans in congress, no-one but believes that the chaos in Iraq demands a political solution. Military activity can only buy an ever shrinking amount of time. And BushCorp™, in its wisdom, has thrown in its lot with a group of politicians who have made the GOP do-nothing congress of the last six years look like a beehive of activity.

Meanwhile 3,384 American men and women, soldiers and Marines, have been sent on a permanent, one might say eternal vacation.

[Mortality statistics thanks to]

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