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Fri

03

Aug

2007

Gunga Din Takes a Vacation
Friday, 03 August 2007 21:31
by Stephen P. Pizzo
You may talk o' gin an' beer
When you're quartered safe out 'ere,
An' you're sent to penny-fights an' Aldershot it;

But if it comes to slaughter
You will do your work on water,
An' you'll lick the bloomin' boots of 'im that's got it.
Sure, you turn the lights out if you're going away on vacation for a month. But the Iraqi parliament apparently went a step further when they left for a month away from away from the troubles in Baghdad – they turned off the water too.
BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Much of the Iraqi capital was without running water Thursday and had been for at least 24 hours, compounding the misery in a war zone and the blistering heat at the height of summer...Residents and local officials said large sections of the city had been virtually dry for six days because the electricity grid can't provide enough power to run water purification and pumping stations. (Full story)

Oh, and did I mention it's 117 degrees in Baghdad this week? Of course, it is a dry heat.... which is one of those good news, bad news facts. This year it's extra dry heat. Here's an inconvenient fact – it's drier in Baghdad this August than it was five Augusts ago when Saddam the Sadist ran the place. Back then, (before the Iraqis were liberated,) they had water every day. They also had electricity at least 18 hours every day.

Today Iraqis consider themselves lucky if they get 2-hours of juice a day.

That was before August 1. Now it's down to an hour of electricity a day, and no water. Not a drop. Not for even a minute a day.

And did I mention it's 117 degrees there now? So hot that even the pampered members of Iraq's useless-as-tits-on-a-boar parliament skipped town for the month.
Meanwhile, back in Washington, the US Congress is about to bug out for a month as well. And you can be sure President Bush will be flying air-condition Air Force One, well-stocked with bottled water, to Texas for his annual Crawford ranch vacation as well.

At least the Iraqi parliament had an excuse most of us can at least understand, if not approve of – it's hotter than billy-blue blazes in Iraq in August, and they're tired of dodging hourly assassination attempts.

What's Washington's excuse for skipping town?

Simple.. in a word their excuse is ... “Petraeus.”

Democrat or Republican, just ask them what the hell they're waiting for before calling an end to Bush's Vietnam and, to a person, they'll chirp “General Petraeus.” They'll explain that they understand you are hearing a lot of bad news about what's going on in Iraq, but that such “anecdotal” reports are not useful. They are waiting to hear the real deal from our man on the ground there, General David Petraeus, when he reports to Congress in September.

Well, should you run into one your elected reps during, what we can assume will be their cool and well-hydrated August vacation, you might mention that, unless the 8-million severely under-hydrated folks in Baghdad are lying about their current “living” conditions, we don't need to wait for General Petraeus' report. We already know enough to know that that the US's misadventure in Iraq has failed.
And now we learn that we've even failed as Baghdad's Gunga Din. After four years, $600 billion dollars, 3700 dead US soldiers and who knows how many tens of thousands of dead Iraqis, we/they can't even provide the hot, thirsty, and increasingly dirty, Baghdadians the most abundant resource on earth... water.

So it's a 117 degrees in Baghdad, and the public water system is dry as a bone.

Let's repeat that until it sinks in:

It's 117 degrees in Baghdad and there's no water.

It's 117 degrees in Baghdad and there's no water.

What could General Petreaus possibly tell us in September that would mitigate, explain or justify that single fact? What could he possibly report that would convince congress and the American people that 136,000 US troops and half a trillion dollars of our treasure have produced, or can produce, positive results for Iraq or the Iraqi people when one month before his testimony it's 117 degrees in Baghdad and there's no water service in that nation's capitol city?

How can he explain away an elected Iraqi parliament that leaves it's own people in such dire – life threatening – conditions to go on vacation for a month? A parliament that since it was elected has produced not a single piece of useful legislation. A parliament whose members, family, friends and militias have stolen more US aid money than they've invested into their nation's infrastructure. How do you think they're paying for those vacations aboard – trips they try to disguise as official business or for medical treatment. Even when the Iraqi parliament has not declared a mass vacation, up to half of them don't show up for work because they are off gallivanting the globe.

"More than half the members of parliament, ministers and senior officials are on vacation, sick leave or on official assignment abroad" at any given time, a government official said on condition of anonymity. "It is common practice now that they spend more time abroad than in their offices. The main reason is their fear of being targeted inside the country." (Full Story)

So if you are unlucky enough to run into one of our vacationing members of Congress this August, here's all you have to do. Walk right up to them and, when they reach out to shake your hand, grab and don't let go. Look them right in the face and recite the following:

“It's 117 degrees in Baghdad and there's no water.

It's 117 degrees in Baghdad and there's no water.

It's 117 degrees in Baghdad and there's no water.

What the holy hell are you waiting for?”
 
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