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.
Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.