by John Hawkins | May 3, 2007 6:11 pm
I don’t care if the Iraqis want to carp a little, but the Iraqi parliament better think twice about taking a two month long vacation this summer,
“Iraqi lawmakers said Thursday they might consider shortening — or canceling completely — their planned two-month summer break to continue working on crucial issues facing the country.
But they slammed a hail of bipartisan criticism from U.S. lawmakers angry that Iraqi parliamentarians expected to take a vacation while U.S. soldiers risked their lives as hypocritical meddling in domestic politics.
“Certainly taking a two-month vacation will have an effect on passing some important laws,” said Mahmoud Othman, a Kurdish lawmaker. “We can stay if we feel that this is very important, but I think that the worries by the congressmen are premature. Moreover, they themselves take vacation.”
A recess, which would start in July, may leave several crucial pieces of legislation unfinished, including a bill for distributing oil revenue and plans to reverse measures that barred many Sunnis from holding certain jobs and government office.
Criticism of the planned vacation erupted in the halls of Congress after President George W. Bush vetoed legislation to continue funding the war that would also have ordered U.S. troops to begin leaving Iraq on Oct. 1.
…Iraqi lawmakers said Thursday that many lawmakers use the two-month break to visit their families outside the country or in remote provinces or to take care of business.
…”There is a possibility that this vacation will be put off this year or limited to 15 days,” said Nassar al-Rubaie, a lawmaker from the radical Shiite bloc in parliament. He said his party “thinks that the vacation should be canceled this year because the country is in a crisis and we have a number of important laws to be passed.”
“We support abolishing this vacation whether the (U.S.) Congress demands it or not,” he said. “However, Iraqi issues are the concern of Iraqis only.”
Salim Abdullah, a Sunni lawmaker, agreed that now “is not the best time to take a vacation in Iraq. The country is undergoing an exceptional period and there is important decisions to be made by the lawmakers.”
Mahmoud Othman is right that our Congress does take a two month long vacation, but we don’t have Iraqi soldiers over here risking their lives to keep our country together. Furthermore, I don’t believe we should be “meddling in (the) domestic politics (of Iraq)” without cause, but as long as we’re spending billions to help Iraq and our troops are getting shot and killed in the streets to keep the Iraqi people safe, we’re going to put our two cents in on important issues — and there’s no way our soldiers should be risking their necks in Baghdad while Iraqi politicians take two months off to sip tea and put their feet up. A week or two is one thing, but under the circumstances, two months would be intolerable.
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