Sunday, March 02, 2008

What You Won't Read in The New York Times or The Washington Post-----
-----unless it's buried in the backpages.

Unlike our own congress that can't seem to pass a "movement", the Iraqi parliament has recently passed some some critical legislation, including benchmarks set forth by our democratic friends in the house.

Political deal-making cheers Baghdad watchers

By David R. SandsMarch 1, 2008

Politics has broken out in Baghdad.

Long derided as dysfunctional, Iraq's parliament in recent weeks has passed a package of laws on the budget, elections and sectarian reconciliation that have given cautious hope to U.S. officials and private analysts that the gains from President Bush's military surge are finally being matched by a political surge as well.

Daniel Serwer, a specialist on post-conflict societies, recently led a delegation from the Washington-based U.S. Institute of Peace to Baghdad to assess the political scene and interview the major Iraqi players inside the Green Zone.

"The popular image is that things are completely deadlocked in Baghdad," he said. "That's not what we found at all."

Instead, he said, the delegation found Iraqi politicians cutting deals, making compromises and forming alliances based more on power and votes that on religious or ethnic bonds.

(isn't this embarrassing that a new democracy in Iraq can accomplish what our own congress has long forgotten how to do?)

"There's a lot of floundering, a lot of thinking and rethinking, a lot of new voices emerging," he said. "But it's a good deal less polarized than we anticipated."

Mr. Bush and his fiercest critics on Iraq have long agreed that the tactical gains of the U.S. military surge will matter only if they are followed by political gains among the country's feuding ethnic and sectarian camps.

Even top U.S. officials conceded last fall the early political returns were meager, with the Iraqi parliament failing to act on a string of political "benchmarks" set by Washington, and failing at times even to obtain a quorum to conduct basic business.

In a typical comment, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama on his campaign Web site faults the military surge in Iraq for failing to produce political change......LINK

When Tim Russert asked both Clinton and Obama in their last debate how the new Russian President will effect U.S and world politics, Obama had this blank stare on his face while Hillary actually bailed him out by fielding the question and fumbling Dmitry Medvedev's name. Obama had no clue who Putin's successor was going to be. This is just a taste of the transparency that will come out in the general election that will expose a youthful and inexperienced Barak Obama. And this is the best the liberal media and their pundits can produce to run this nation?

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