In a gesture that says more to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and the Bush administration that a million suicide bomb attacks could, the Sunni bloc quit the Iraqi Cabinet on Wednesday. That would be the same day that about 70 people died and 60 were injured in three attacks around Baghdad. Think about it -- the Sunnis walked away from the process, taking away with them any hope of quelling sectarian violence any time in the near future, no matter how many troops we send over. That's how fed up they are.
The message is loud and clear: Take your benchmarks and ... well you know the rest.
Of course, this won't matter much, as the Iraqi Parliament has decided to take the hellaciously hot month of August off. But given that our Senate is taking a break from Aug. 6 to Sept. 3 (while the House has something called the "Summer District Work Period" -- don't forget your sun block and tequila, House of Reps!), it seems only fair that the invaded take a little a breather, too.
At least the U.S. troop death toll is the lowest it's been in eight months (only 76 died in July). Either the troop surge is really working, or Iraqis are too busy killing one another to focus on killing Americans. In fact, according to a report by the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction (released Wednesday), they're too overwhelmed to even take over roughly 2,300 U.S.-funded projects there.
The Iraqi government, it seems, is concerned that it might not be able to financially handle taking over those reconstruction efforts. And who could blame them? In the last benchmark report, the Bush administration stated that Iraqis had merely made some progress in eight out of the 18 benchmarks it had set out for it in various areas (government operations, security, etc.) -- a grade Jon Stewart described as "a gentleman's F."
We can give ourselves the same grade for how we've handled this war and for our ridiculous expectations of the country we've torn apart.
© 2007 The Seattle Post-Intelligencer