Iraqi Government a "House of Cards"

Jack Kingston poses for a picture with a soldier in Iraq.
Jack Kingston poses for a picture with a soldier in Iraq.

One of our own leaders got an up close look at the Iraqi conflict and the men and women fighting in it.

Congressman Jack Kingston only spent 15 hours in the country, but got a good look at what's going on now, and what the future may hold.

"There is progress being made but it's inches an hour and we want miles an hour," says Kingston.

Congressman Jack Kingston flew thousands of miles to get a first hand look at the conflict in Iraq.

It's Kingston's third trip to the Middle East and he says there has been progress militarily.

He points to seven provinces now under the control of Iraqi security forces, 23,000 tips on insurgents coming in a month, and caches of weapons taken off the streets.

But politically Kingston say there are still major issues to be dealt with.

"I thought that politically since May there would be a little more progress," explains Kingston. "Instead it seems like the government is in worse shape now than it was in May. The political process is a card house. If anyone sneezes the whole thing could fall down."

Video from inside a town meeting shows that talks are going on.

The congressman believes the local government is farther along than the national political process.

If something isn't done soon, the military progress US forces have made may be lost.

"If the political structure doesn't get traction, then the military faction will get fatigued," says Kingston.

But Kingston says that doesn't mean he agrees with setting a timetable for withdrawal. "For us to say you guys have to do all the reverse debaathification, oil sharing, provincial elections, and to give them a deadline of this fall, its unreasonable."

Kingston hopes when it comes to this debate, reason will outweigh emotion, and congress will keep the fight for peace in the Middle East going.

March of 2008 has been mentioned as a possible pull out date for most of the US forces. Kingston says from what he's seen that is possible, but only if 18 of the 23 Iraqi provinces are under control of the country's security forces and the national government is stabilized.

Reported by: Andrew Davis,