When Dick Cheney traveled to Iraq in May, he did so, at least in part, to tell Iraqi lawmakers that the United States wouldn't be amused if they took a two-month summer vacation while American troops continued to fight and die on their behalf. Cheney left Baghdad without any promises, but he said at the time that the Iraqis "understand the importance of getting on with the business that's before them."
Iraq's parliament took off for a month-long summer recess today. That's shorter than the 60-day break lawmakers had planned, but it's still a longer break than any American ought to be able to stomach; if recent numbers are any indication, we can expect about 100 U.S. soldiers to die in Iraq while the country's leaders are cooling their heels.
Not that a continuing parliamentary session would make much of a difference, anyway. As Kurdish lawmaker Mahmoud Othman tells Reuters: "We do not have anything to discuss in the parliament, no laws or constitutional amendments, nothing from the government. Differences between the political factions have delayed the laws."