In what was supposed to be a milestone in Iraq's march to democracy, the country's new Parliament convened for the first time today.
The accomplishments from the first session? With no agreement on a speaker, Adnan Pachachi won the right to lead the session because he was the oldest politician there. Pachachi tried to give a speech in which he said that Iraqis had to "prove to the world that a civil war is not [taking place] and will not take place among our people," but he was interrupted when a Shiite leader rose to argue that his remarks were inappropriately political. Officials did succeed in administering the oath of office to new representatives, but only after a fight over whether they were using the right words.
After a little more than half an hour, the Parliament adjourned indefinitely.
Update: Not long after the Parliament adjourned, the U.S. military announced that it has just launched the largest air assault on Iraq since the war began three years ago.