WHAT IF THEY HELD AN OCCUPIER-SUSTAINED SECTARIAN DEMOCRACY AND NO ONE SHOWED UP?

WHAT IF THEY HELD AN OCCUPIER-SUSTAINED SECTARIAN DEMOCRACY AND NO ONE SHOWED UP? Did you notice how President Bush snuck back in a reference to a "democratic Iraq" in the SOTU? During his latest iteration of the not-the-fight-we-entered mission, Bush had scaled back his goal to that of a "free nation that can sustain itself and defend itself." Bush may be mired in confusion, but Iraqi parliamentarians aren't: according to the New York Times, there hasn't been a parliamentary quorum since November:

Some of Iraq�s more seasoned leaders say attendance has been undermined by a widening sense of disillusionment about Parliament�s ability to improve Iraqis� daily life. The country�s dominant issue, security, is almost exclusively the policy realm of the American military and the office of the prime minister.

Every bombing like the one on Monday, which killed 88 people at a downtown market, suggests to some that Parliament�s laws are irrelevant in the face of sprawling chaos and the government�s inability to stop it.

�People are totally disenchanted,� (Adnan) Pachachi said in a telephone interview from Abu Dhabi. �There has been no improvement in the security situation. The government seems to be incapable of doing anything despite all the promises.�

Speaking of missions we didn't sign up for, I'm fairly sure no one voted to make General Petraeus the commander of a force that exists in Iraq to protect Nouri al-Maliki.

--Spencer Ackerman

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