Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 6, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

MORE IRAQI POLITICS....Ned Parker in the LA Times today:

Iraq's government is teetering on the edge. Maliki's Cabinet is filled with officials who are deeply estranged from one another and more loyal to their parties than to the government as a whole. Some are jostling to unseat the prime minister. Few, if any, have accepted the basic premise of a government whose power is shared among each of Iraq's warring sects and ethnic groups.

....Even Maliki's top political advisor, Sadiq Rikabi, says he doubts the prime minister will be able to win passage of key legislation ardently sought by U.S. officials, including a law governing the oil industry and one that would allow more Sunni Arabs to gain government jobs.

That sounds promising, doesn't it?

Kevin Drum 11:48 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (11)

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And you were expecting.... ?

In other news... Turkish troops enter Iraq. Bush rattles the Russian bear. And Alberto has NOT resigned. Rove has NOT turned over any emails. Dick Cheney has NOT been impeached. Troops keep dying in Iraq for the glory of the 3rd Reich, er... Republican Party.

Posted by: Jay in Oregon on June 6, 2007 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

More "wonderful" results of of The Surge"?

Posted by: Kenji on June 6, 2007 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

only 3.3 more FU to go...

Posted by: supersaurus on June 6, 2007 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

Is the oil legislation the proposal that cuts the U.S. oil companies a sweetheart deal? Maliki better push that through or Shrub will push him out faster than crap through a goose.

Posted by: demisod on June 6, 2007 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

Don't you just love the smell of "Democracy" in the mourning. Soon now, the dominos of Democracy will start falling across the entire Middle Eastern region.

Need more "Mourning After" pills sent there.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on June 6, 2007 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

Matthew Marler explained to me last week that this is nothing to worry about: that all governments experience "bickering" like this, that amazing political progress is happening -- and the fact that DVD sales are up in Diyala province proves the whole invasion was worthwhile.


Already, the country is turning into power cliques beneath the radar of the government, warned the senior Iraqi politician who still works with Maliki.

"One of the dangers we have is out of this chaos, an oligarchy is evolving, little fiefdoms manipulating money, smuggling oil, getting into contracting procedures

Hey, Iraq is looking more like the Republican vision for the U.S. all the time. You can't deny they didn't make an impression.

Posted by: tRex on June 6, 2007 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

Benchmarks, nothing.

As reported on AlterNet, the Iraqi parliament is working on a **binding resolution** to end the UN mandate for the occupation:

[N]ationalists in the Iraqi parliament -- now representing a majority of the body -- continue to make progress toward bringing an end to their country's occupation.

The parliament [June 5] passed a binding resolution that will guarantee lawmakers an opportunity to block the extension of the U.N. mandate under which coalition troops now remain in Iraq when it comes up for renewal in December.


Blogged at:

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on June 6, 2007 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

I agree that Maliki's "government" is obviously dysfunctional, this comment struck me as not particularly trenchant:

Maliki's Cabinet is filled with officials who are . . . more loyal to their parties than to the government as a whole.

Isn't that always the case in a parliamentary system where you have a coalition government?

Posted by: Glenn on June 6, 2007 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

More loyal to party than to government as a whole? Hmmm, what does that remind me of.....

At the end of the day we need to realize that the Shia will never agree to give up their perch again in Iraq no matter what we do. They were crapped on for too long by Sadaam and his quasi-Sunni henchmen and now its payback time. This is not uncommon as usually when a long repressed majority finally gets their hands on power, there's not a whole lot of love shown for the minority former oppressors. And this was totally predictable prior to the start of the war; anybody that didn't think the Shia were going to seek to resolve some old grudges was oblivious.

Hell, we even have an example from here; look how the GOP reacted when they finally gained control of Congress after 40 years of minority status. Overreaching to settle old scores shouldn't have been foreign to them.

Posted by: Doug-E-Fresh on June 6, 2007 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

On January 10, President Bush said, "America will hold the Iraqi government to the benchmarks it has announced."

Another Bush lie.

Given that Turkey has now invaded Iraq, it's hard to see what more Bush can do to screw the pooch in the Middle East, break all of his promises, and be wrong about all of his predictions.

No WMDs.

No al Qaida links.

No "Mission Accomplished."

No democracy spreading throughout the Middle East.

No war paid for by Iraqi oil.

No parades.

No benchmarks met.

No six-month war.

No halt to terrorist plots and attempts against the US.

No end in sight to the money pouring into the black hole of Iraq.

Sectarian violence spinning out of control.

Regional stability spiraling out of control.

American soldiers being squandered, not only with no national security return, but with an actual worsening of America's security.

A lying, dimwit of a Secretary of State.

An out-of-control vice president who is betraying his country and his party.

An administration in disarray.

In other words, no foreign policy whatsoever.

Merely Bush crapping in the desert sands and praying something will grow without water or seeds.

Posted by: anonymous on June 6, 2007 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

Bush says Russia won't attack Europe

Bush says his policies will ensure the following ar true:

Bush says there are WMDs in Iraq.

Bush says the Iraqis will welcome us with parades.

Bush says Iraqi oil will pay for the war.

Bush says Iraq linked to 9/11 and worldwide terrorism.

Bush says Iraqis will meet the benchmarks.

Bush says democracy will spread throughout the Middle East.


Given Bush's record on predictions and promises so far, Russia will obliterate Europe if Bush's policy doesn't change.

Posted by: anonymous on June 6, 2007 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK
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