Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Vacation Time

The Iraqi parliament is now officially on vacation. Though if you ask me, they have been on vacation since they took office.

So, if you are an Iraqi legislator, what do you do on vacation? Well, the largest Sunni political bloc has decided that they will leave Prime Minister al-Maliki's government.

The Accordance Front controls 44 of parliament's 275 seats and is the second bloc to quit the al-Maliki government. The first was the Shiite bloc controlled by radical imam, Muqtada al-Sadr. The biggest reasons for the Accordance Front to leave the government is that the Prime Minister has not addressed their concerns. After trying for 15 months to get their grievances addressed, the Accordance Front presented some demands to the Prime Minister a week ago that were not addressed at all. These demands included:

  • A pardon for security detainees not charged with specific crimes
  • the disbanding of militias
  • participation of all groups in the government in dealing with security measures.

As far as demands go, these were really reasonable. For the first one, defense lawyers in the US have a saying ... either charge my client or let him go. Well, at least that's what they say on TV. On the second, if armed militias were terrorizing your neighborhood ... wouldn't you want to see them disbanded? And finally, what do you think would happen, if the Democratic controlled Congress didn't allow any Republicans on the House or Senate Intelligence Committees (the committees that have oversight on security measures)?

But al-Maliki must have thought they were bluffing and let the deadline pass.

What's next for the parliament's vacation plans? Well, it seems that the Kurds are ready to jump ship too. They were promised that a census would be done in Kirkuk, and if the Kurds were the majority, that Kirkuk would become part of the Kurdish region. So far plans for the census have not even started.

It might even be a good thing for the Kurds to leave the government. Then maybe we could get a new Prime Minister in there that could get something accomplished. On the flip side ... what if we get some one that wants to turn Iraq into a fundamentalist Theocracy?

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Terri@SteelMagnolia said...

I'm just shaking my head
... and making a disgusted face.

Paul Champagne said...

terri ... I don't think your face could ever look disgusting.

Jenny! said...

Can they do that??? Take a all at once?

Paul Champagne said...

jenny ... our Congress does it all the time.

Anonymous said...


The do-nothing-IRAQI Parliament is learning from our do-nothing-US Congress. The only difference between the two bodies, is that life expectancy for the do-nothing IRAQI politicians is very short.

v/r tlrb

Paul Champagne said...

tlrb ... quite correct, I actually have more respect for the Iraqi politicians than I do for my own. Maybe they should get hazardous duty pay?

Keshi said...

That wud be good tho...Iraq is screaming CHANGE.


lala said...

hey if the cake thing works for you, maybe i should give it a try! lol.

David said...

What a mess. I don't know where to start. I know they are putting their lives on the line. So why don't they at least do something worthwhile with their time. At least then if they get assassinated then they will have done something good for the country.

buffalodickdy said...

Amazing how a small group, like a soccer team, made up of traditional enemies can work together well enough to win. Amazing that their whole country was excited and happy about this, yet cannot apply the same principles to their government!

Jenny! said...


Terri@SteelMagnolia said...

YOU JUST MADE MY DAY! I'm serial... I'm having a down day and you just lifted me spirits.

and I love the comments by everyone...
this is a great group here!


Loving Annie said...

Good Thursday afternoon Paul !

just wanted to come say hello, and thank you for leaving the nice comment on my blog !

You are MUCH more politically atute and aware than I am, or I'd respond to your post with something intelligent.

Enjoy blogging, and again, thanks for the visits !

Anonymous said...


Actually all of them should receive all of the following:

- hazardous duty pay
- combat zone pay
- imminent danger pay

Plus, all of them should wear a patch with the Surgeon General's warning of "Membership on the IRAQI Parliament could be hazardous to your health."

v/r tlrb

Terry said...

I am glad I stopped by to get Middle-Eastern Education from you, Paul. :) There is something that sounds a little familiar here, you know, the part about the law makers not getting anything accomplished...

I added you to my blog roll today, you know, to help me become smarter.

Shibari said...

You always have the most thought provoking posts... I for one am glad that you 'spout off' I think you are a voice of reason...

eastcoastlife said...

Hi Paul!
I dropped in from Singapore to see why you are competing for the most insignificant blog on the internet. :P

*jaw drops at your thought-provoking posts*

Mike M said...

Democracy takes time Paul. They are just in the early stages of this process. Give them a few years to work out the kinks.

Sarah said...

hmmm holding detainees without charges, now if they would just water board them it would sound an awful lot like a certain democracy I know...

Mebsmommy said... are too kind.....thanks for stopping by my blog. And, apparently, way smart. Thanks for sharing your view on politics in such an educated manner. I could learn a thing or two by visiting your site more often!

Paul Champagne said...

keshi ... they are screaming change, but all the Iraqi people really want is to feel safe ... and having electricity, running water and food would be nice too. They don't care who gives them these necessities ... as long as they get them.

lala ... believe me ... it works, my daughters still think I can bake ... funny thing is ... one of them has become a pretty good baker, trying to emulate me :)

david ... you would think that since they are risking their lives they would be more productive than our Congress ... but I guess not.

buffalo ... yes it is amazing. And it is particularly amazing that the Iraqi government hasn't seen it.

jenny ... I'm not kidding, our Congress is also taking August off. They will be right back in September to work on important legislation ... just not important enough to give up their vacations for. I am being very cynical here, most of our elected officials will be utilizing the break to take fact finding trips to Darfur, Iraq, South Korea and Afghanistan ... some will be holding town hall meetings with their constituents (and these are the reasons that the breaks are put into the legislative session). Of course, some of our Representatives will be wined and dined by lobbyists, taken on extravagant "fact finding" trips to Aruba and the Bahamas ... these are the f=&ks we should be voting out ... but we are not smart enough, or don't care enough ... sorry for the rant at the end.

terri ... glad to make your day ... isn't it amazing how something that doesn't take much time or any money can brighten another persons day? We should all try to make one person feel better each day ... I'm starting to sound a little bit like Oprah.

annie ... All it takes is a little reading to educate yourself on politics. And I do believe your comment was very intelligent ... never put yourself down. Opinions, when they are well thought out are by their very nature, intelligent.

tlrb ... I like the Surgeon General's warning ... how about rotating them like they do on cigarettes so that we add a little variety to the parliament members. One warning could be "The Surgeon General has determined that suicide bombs may be hazardous to your health"

terry ... thank you for the addition to your blog-roll. I don't know about getting smarter by reading this blog (it hasn't worked for me ... I don't even know how make a blog roll). As far as the Iraqi parliament sounding familiar in its' workings ... they have certainly learned that part of their jobs well from US.

shibari ... the voice of reason? Boy would my wife laugh at that.

eastcoastlife ... pick your jaw up off the floor (it is dirty down there). Why am I competing to be the most insignificant blog on the internet? It is because I realize that we as bloggers are insignificant. It is the blogoshere in toto that has the power to change things ... and we all just do our little parts. So, I just like to remind myself each time I open this Blog of that fact.

mike ... agreed, democracy does take time, and I wish they had it. Congress will not be giving them very much time ... so they need to do what they can before the rug is pulled out from under them.

sarah ... long time no see :)
There is a difference, the detainees that they are holding are for the most part their own citizens, and waterboarding is not torture. It is not pleasurable, but it is not torture. If you have ever had a chemical stress test done on your heart ... it's about the same physical and mental anguish as waterboarding.

Paul Champagne said...

mebsmommy ... why thank you, I've learned things from visiting all of you guys ... just trying to return the favor.

Tapline said...

Paul, just got back from vacation, but will be returning again tomorrow. just wanted to catch up on my reading. Good post......Iraq sure is having their growing pains. It seems they just don't have the experience necessary to pull this nation together. If they had dropped religion from their constitution, they might have had a chance, but unfortunately they didn't. Islam is a way of life, it is not only a religion, it tells them what to do and when and how to do it. everyhing they do is done by the book , so to speak, If they had taken a lesson from Kemel Attaturk and outlawed some of the ancient teachings of Islam they would have been way ahead of the game. I ramble,,,,I read an excellent essay at "gates of Vienna" on the dangers of multiculturalism in the EU It was and outstanding well researched, historical article, well worth your read....stay well

Anonymous said...

no update??
ru still on vacation paul-chan? lol

Sarah said...

I hear you but chemical stress tests are rarely done against someones will and with the intent of getting information they may or may not have.

I paraphrase McCain here in saying that even the information gained is not all that reliable.

Paul Champagne said...

tapline ... welcome back, I wish I had your vacation scedule. Religion is part of their daily lives, it should not be kept out of their politics ... the founding fathers didn't keep their Christianity out of our Government ... how can we expect them to keep it out of theirs

niki ... not on vacation, just super busy at work.

sarah ... I have just one question for you. If a captured terrorist had planted a bomb in a school in your city ... what would you be willing to do to get information out of him?