Went to the Iraqi parliament today. The parliament meets in a dim, grim convention center in the Green Zone where Saddam once held pro forma government meetings. It used to be possible to shmooze with members in the cafeteria, until a bomb went off there over a year and a half ago, killing a member.
Since then security has been tight and an elaborate, uncomputerized system of permits and bodychecks is required to get in. Kurdish pesh merga troops guard the place - everyone seems to think Kurds are the most professional, even though other Iraqi factions get annoyed at what they claim is Kurdish overreach on territory in the north of Iraq.