On Wednesday, September 26th, Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) made a public declaration to Time Magazine:
Graham told TIME Wednesday that the Iraqi leaders have 90 days to start resolving their political differences with real legislative agreements or face a change in strategy by the U.S. "If they can't do it in 90 days," he said, "it means the major players don't want to."
But Graham, who is up for re-election in 2008, said he will not wait forever. "If they can't pull it together in the next 90 days," he said, "I don't think they are ever gonna do it." He followed that prediction with a promise: "If they don't deliver in 90 days, I will openly say the chances for political reconciliation are remote."
Though he would not elaborate on what kind of plan he would push if the Iraqis fail to meet the deadline, Graham did say a change in strategy would be warranted. "If they can't do it by the end of the year," he said, "how do you justify a continued presence?"
Well, 90 days from September 26th turns out to be December 25th. Christmas (and boy, would I love this for Christmas).
That means there are 15 days for the Iraqi parliament to "reconcile" their differences.
Dec. 7, 2007
Lawmakers to return at month's end, after Muslim religious season
BAGHDAD - Iraqi legislators suspended parliamentary sessions yesterday until the end of the month to mark the Muslim religious season - the end of much-delayed efforts to pass U.S.-backed legislation aimed at achieving national reconciliation this year.
The Sunni speaker of parliament announced the decision to suspend sessions after days of debate over a draft bill that would allow thousands of former members of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party to return to government jobs. The measure is among the 18 benchmarks set by the United States to encourage reconciliation.
Speaker Mahmoud al-Mashhadani said the legislative body would not hold another session until the end of December because many lawmakers would be traveling to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, for the annual Islamic pilgrimage.
Al-Mashhadani said parliament would reconvene Dec. 30, a day before the end of the current term.
The suspension was the latest setback to efforts by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's Shiite-dominated government to bring minority Sunnis into the political process.
Would you look at that? The Iraqi Parliament isn't even in session until Dec. 30th!
Now don't get me wrong people, I want the Iraqi government to succeed. Really, I do. But I also have this strange desire to see a Republican keep a promise for once.
So the ball is in their court. Sen. Graham's deadline is Dec. 25th, and the Iraqi Parliament is out of session until Dec. 30th. I think there's an "open statement" to be made. Don't you?