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August 20, 2007

Comments

JJackson

John Simpson of the BBC says "according to the Los Angeles Times, next month's assessment about the surge's success will be written by the White House, instead of by the two men we were previously told would make the judgement: General David Petraeus"

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6949121.stm

Do you have any more info on this?

JJackson

I now see the article he was referring to.
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-pullback15aug15,1,3047156.story?page=2&cset=true&ctrack=6

“Despite Bush's repeated statements that the report will reflect evaluations by Petraeus and Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, administration officials said it would actually be written by the White House, with inputs from officials throughout the government.

And though Petraeus and Crocker will present their recommendations on Capitol Hill, legislation passed by Congress leaves it to the president to decide how to interpret the report's data.”

JHM

Suppose that somehow these parties managed to overcome their many difference and scrape together enough seats in Parliament to force Maliki's ouster and form a new government. This isn't likely, given the dysfunctional nature of the Iraqi Parliament and President Talabani's participation in the current ruling coalition.

I'd divide the emphasized chunk down the middle: given the radically dysfunctional nature of the "Iraqi" "constitution," it would be ten times easier to bring down a ministry than to replace it. Hopefully most of the "deputies" will more or less understand as much and would not trouble with a vote of no confidence after which poor M. al-Málikí would inevitably hang around for months and months as a caretaker while everybody squabbles.

Remember last time, gentlebeings!

Swopa

Monolingual type that I am, I don't know what the al-Quds al-Arabi article says, but it will take a lot to convince me that it's anything more than Sistani distancing himself from the government merely as damage control. His reputation has taken a hit for sponsoring this mess, and he no doubt would like to restore some of his nonpartisan/nonsectarian credibility if possible.

But I think that down deep, he still sees his goal as being to ensure continued Shiite rule.

Rodger

Armed Services Committee chair Carl Levin is now calling for the Parliament to topple Maliki's government if it fails to bring together a summit to address outstanding issues -- like distribution of oil resources and the possible government service of former Baath party members.

Zathras

When we're discussing the implications of various possible changes in the Iraqi government for the American troops now in the country, we need to bear in mind that we are past the time when staying in or withdrawing from the country was entirely a matter of choice on our part.

The United States is going to need to reduce the number of combat units in Iraq no later than early next spring. It will have to prepare to remove equipment and support facilities for those units before that, and will also have to prepare for withdrawal of equipment and support facilties for the units that will, for the moment, remain.

The bottom line is that we don't any longer have full freedom of action to respond to a change in the Iraqi government. We are constrained by the wear and tear of a high operational tempo maintained for over four years on a military that is no bigger than when the Iraq war began. An Iraqi government that did ask for a withdrawal would at most accelerate somewhat something that must happen anyway.

glasnost

Who says the Bush Admin would ever allow such a declaration, or the series of events preceding it, to occur?

Nur al-Cubicle

IMHO the Maliki Four are more powerful than is believed. I'm also inclined to doubt the newspaper story about Sistani. Moreover, the militias would take Allawi out in no time.

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