World Spotlight: Iraqi Parliament Holiday

To foreign eyes, it seems insensitive -- even criminally negligent--of Iraq's parliamentarians to take a four-week vacation while their country struggles with monstrous problems and their countrymen cope with the 110°F (43°C) heat. But to Iraqis, callous disregard is pretty much exactly what they have come to expect from their politicians. Some of the most prominent Iraqi politicians spend little time in the country, much less in parliament. Egregious absenteeism cuts across sectarian and ethnic lines: perennial no-shows include Shi'ite elder Ibrahim al-Jaafari, Sunni leader Saleh Mutlak and secular stalwarts Iyad Allawi and Adnan Pachachi. (Al-Jaafari and Allawi, both former Prime...

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