Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The Iraqi Parliament takes a Vacation

In a recent editorial, Cynthia Tucker, of the Atlanta Journal – Constitution, argues that since the Iraqi parliament is taking a month vacation, it is time to pull our troops out. Her column spends no time discussing any of the military or political strategies that might argue for or against a withdrawal from Iraq. She argues that the very fact that the parliament is vacationing doesn’t really matter. In her opinion, since, “[s]ome block of Shites or Summies is always stalking out,” we shouldn’t expect the Iraqi parliament to get anything accomplished anyway. If our troops can fight in 130 degree weather, then the Iraqis can hold parliament in session. If the parliament won’t convene, then we should go.

Mrs. Tucker isn’t alone in her opinion. I am sure there are many people who would agree with her. I also believe the Iraqi parliament should be doing everything they can to provide for the security of their country. The parliament probably has plenty of work to keep them busy. However, if the democracy that is forming in Iraq is going to work, then the Iraqi voters need to hold the parliament to task. I don’t believe we should threaten our ally. It is in our best interest to have a democratic Iraq. That democracy is going to make decisions we aren’t going to like, and threatening to withdraw our help isn’t the knee jerk reaction we should be looking for.

My criticism of Mrs. Tucker is that she doesn’t acknowledge what might happen if we pull out. While I agree that the parliament should probably be criticized for taking a month off, I disagree with her lack of concern for what the aftermath of a United States troop withdrawal might look like. When the U.S. left Vietnam, millions died in South Vietnam, Cambodia, and in the surrounding waters. No one is arguing that anything less might happen if we leave Iraq.

Mrs. Tucker also fails to consider an additional key point in this discussion. If the parliament of a fledgling democracy like Iraq is going to take pointers on behavior and what is expected of them, where might they look? What lessons would they take from the behavior that our own congress has shown over the last seven months? If the Iraqi parliament has studied the political theatrics of the U.S. House and Senate, we should be thankful all they are doing is taking a month off.

And finally, is there any chance we can convince our congress to take a month off?


Brandon said...

You got your wish, Congress is also taking the month of August off. I agree with you that we cannot force Iraq's Parliament to cancel their vacation, but their decision to go on vacation even though they haven't accomplished a single legislative benchmark isn't going to sit well with Congress in September.

Andy D said...

Hmmm...let me try that again, I wish Congress would take six months off...

Kram said...

I'd even be willing to double their salary if the US Congress would take 12 out of 12 months off!

Back on topic, though, I was opposed to the Iraqi Parliament taking 2 months off when that plan was in the headlines a few months back. However, taking a month off to get back to their families and constituents might help them focus on the tremendous tasks they are facing. The Congress of the United States has NO right, in my opinion, to condemn the Iraqi Parliament for being slow on legislation. Consider how long it took to get legislation on Civil Rights. Or, how about in our more recent history, Immigration.

Jayne d'Arcy said...

I have to agree with you. It just sounds as though this woman is speaking without thinking; happens a lot these days.