Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Iraqi Government Placed on Double-Secret Probation

Upon release of the Initial Benchmark Assessment Report, President Bush, the self-proclaimed "Dean of Democracy," slammed the velvet hammer down on Prime Minister Maliki and his boys, placing them on “double-secret probation.” Although the Iraqi government received “satisfactory” grades on eight of the 18 benchmarks at midterm, Maliki and his minions received “unsatisfactory” marks on eight of the remaining benchmarks, thus prompting a raised eyebrow and “tsk, tsk” from Dean Bush.
"God I hate benchmarks."
The Iraqi government has until Sept. 15 to get its grades up, or else…

Or else Congress will have to step in and revoke their Democratic fraternal chapter.

So how did the Iraqi government respond to its double-secret probation status and the looming Sept. 15 non-deadline?

“Toooo-ga! Tooo-ga! Too-ga! To-ga! Toga! Toga! Toga!”

Toga party? Maybe not, but the Iraqi parliament has decided to take August off, which is completely understandable if you were to ask Dean Bush’s press secretary Tony Snow, who said sympathetically, “You know, it's 130 degrees in Baghdad in August.”

The Iraqi parliment gathers for final days of partying before taking August off

Snow was reminded during the press conference held in the air-conditioned White House press room that the U.S. troops will be fighting throughout August in the same 130-degree heat. Snow responded to this keen observation, “You know, that’s a good point.”

You know, that’s two “you knows” in a row for Tony Snow. Maybe it’s time to evaluate Snow’s public speaking benchmarks, you know.

No worries, Maliki and the boys of parliament will still have two weeks to cram in and show progress towards the eight unsatisfactory benchmarks.

That’s plenty of time to pass an oil-revenue-sharing law, enact and implement legislation on de-Ba’athification reform and ensure the equitable distribution of hydrocarbon resources to all of the Iraqi people, establish a provincial elections law and provincial council authorities, establish a date for provincial elections, enact and implement legislation establishing a strong militia disarmament program to ensure that such security forces are accountable only to the central government and loyal to the constitution of Iraq, provide Iraqi commanders with all authorities to execute this plan, ensure that Iraqi security forces are providing even-handed enforcement of the law, increase the number of Iraqi security forces units capable of operating independently, ensure that Iraq’s political authorities are not undermining or making false accusations against members of the ISF and prepare local elections to help reconcile the country’s Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish factions.

Remember, the Iraqi government only has to show progress on these benchmarks, not accomplish any of the objectives spelled out by the U.S. Congress. That’s objective -- O-B-J-E-C-T-I-V-E.

Speaking of objectives, had the Iraq government been held to the same accountability measures spelled out in the No Child Left Behind Act, the U.S. government would have already stepped in and taken over government operations, assuming of course this has not already happened. Under the provisions of NCLB, or in this case, “No Civilian Left Behind,” the U.S. government would provide each Iraqi citizen a $2,000 voucher to transfer to another country of their choice. Furthermore, the United States would stop pumping more money into Iraq’s government until it has successfully shown that it’s reached the benchmarks and/or completely closed the Democracy gap.

The same could be said about Dean Bush and holding his administration accountable in regard to its Iraq war policies. The only problem, however, is that enforcement of the No Civilian Left Behind Act in the United States would be unenforceable, because, thanks to all the money spent on the war in Iraq, it would be just another unfunded mandate.

So until Sept. 15, when Gen. David Petraeus delivers his progress report on the Iraqi government’s progress toward achieving the congressional benchmarks, Maliki and the boys should heed one word of advice during their summer vacation in August: TOGA!

Originally Posted on "Iowa Independent"