I want to see Obama keep John McCain talking about Iraq every single day. I want to see McCain's smiling face on the cover of every newspaper with a quote using "Iraq" in the first sentence. I want to see footage of him on the evening news each and every night talking about Iraq.Come November Iraq is going to be a real big issue. It may not seem like it now because this ends up on page A12.
Iraqi Leaders Veto Law on Elections
U.S. Had Pushed for Measure, Which Detailed Provincial Powers
Iraqi government leaders on Wednesday rejected a law requiring nationwide elections by the fall, sidetracking a measure that U.S. officials consider a key benchmark for political reconciliation in Iraq.When this law was passed it was on Page A1. The fact that it's veto was on Page A12 does not diminish it's impact. Iraq remains a powder keg with a very short fuse - a fuse that will run out before November. So yes, let John McCain, the Republicans and the administration tell us each and everyday how the surge is working. Time is not on their side.
Parliament passed the legislation two weeks ago. The veto by Iraq's presidency council was an unexpected setback.
Lawmakers will now have to reconsider the measure, which they agreed to only as part of a three-law package reached after weeks of political wrangling. The dispute became so divisive that some called for the dissolution of parliament. The two other laws -- Iraq's 2008 budget and an amnesty that could apply to thousands of detainees in Iraqi prisons -- were approved by the presidency council.
"This is a huge disappointment," said the Shiite deputy speaker of parliament, Khalid al-Attiyah, through an aide. "The political blocs all agreed on this law before. Now we will have to try to start all the deals and agreements from the beginning."
The legislation was vetoed because of the opposition of Adel Abdul Mahdi, a Shiite vice president who sits on the three-member presidency council, according to his aides and other lawmakers. The council must approve all laws unanimously. Abdul Mahdi's aides said he believed the law was unconstitutional and would put too much control in the hands of the central government instead of the provinces.
"We need a law that will dismantle the centralization and make Iraq a federal government with power to the governors and provincial councils," said Hamid al-Saedi, a lawmaker who, like Abdul Mahdi, belongs to the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, the largest Shiite party in parliament.
Passage of the law, which delineated the scope of provincial powers, was considered a crucial step not just because it fleshed out the constitution's definition of Iraq as a federal state, but because it would have required provincial elections to be held by Oct. 1. The last nationwide elections took place in 2005.