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.
And did I mention it's 117 degrees there now? So hot that even the pampered members of Iraq's useless-as-t*ts-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.”
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.
- Failed to improve the lives of the Iraqi people,
- Failed to produce a government that can resolve a single one of Iraq's pressing problems – or for that matter a single un-pressing problem.
- Failed to save Iraqi lives, having killed more innocent civilians in any given recent month than Saddam did during his most grouchy periods.
- Failed to rebuild what we destroyed during our invasion of the country
- Failed to jump start Iraq's only source of income, it's oil industry
- Failed to disarm Iraq's sectarian militias
- Failed to reverse the rising tide of ethnic cleansing in Sunni, Shia and Kurdish regions.
- Failed to restrain the growing influence of Iran over Iraqi affairs.
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.