Benchmarks! Get your benchmarks right here!
According to a letter sent yesterday by Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, the Iraqi government has something of a problem meeting benchmarks. You can read the letter here
The letter was a response to repeated requests from Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) to disclose the details of an agreement that had reportedly been made between the Bush administration and the Iraqi government last fall. Bush had made a number of public references to the agreeement, but the full details of the agreement remained unknown.
And it's no wonder. It's quite a little list of unfulfilled promises (you can read the complete list here
). From the AP
Iraq has passed target dates to make laws establishing provincial elections, regulating distribution of the country's oil wealth and reversing measures that have excluded many Sunnis from jobs and government positions because of Baath party membership, according to the list Rice provided.
The Iraq government had also agreed to approve a law governing political amnesty and the charged question of sectarian militias by Dec. 31 and to finish a review of the constitution, seen as unfair to minority Sunnis, by Wednesday.
"Although the Iraqi parliament and Cabinet have done intermittent work on some elements of the list, including the symbolic oil law, it appeared that none of the targets have been fully met," the AP reports.
Meanwhile, some Senate Republicans (Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and well, Joe Lieberman (I-CT)) are busy pushing a resolution to counter the nonbinding resolutions against the president's troop increase -- by proposing more benchmarks
for the Iraqi government.