Sunday, July 08, 2007
One minute closer to the hour of your doom:
Just noting: via "Yglesiaa," Lara Logan reports that there's going to be a no-confidence parliamentary vote on Maliki scheduled for July 15. It so happens that on the 15th, in Washington, the Bush administration will deliver a progress report on Iraq to Congress. And the 15th will augur the second of two weeks of debate on several Iraq-related amendments offered to the defense bill. Pretty poor timing for Bush.

More substantially: the move against Maliki is mostly Sunni-based, despite widespread dissatisfaction with the premier. The so-called "Iraq Project" says it has the votes necessary to depose him. The Iraqi political process has never had that sort of stress placed on it. Would Maliki step aside if the vote actually goes the way the Project expects? And would the U.S. be forced, again, to portray the results of a sectarian purge -- which is what the no-confidence motion clearly is -- as the results of a legitimate political effort? The process tends to conflate the two, but the U.S. can hardly afford to concede that point, unless it's really prepared to abandon the process it largely created. And while my understanding is that U.S. officials in Baghdad find more hope in tribal politics outside of the capitol than with what happens inside the Green Zone, no one's ready to say the political order U.S. troops are dying to defend isn't salvageable. Diplomats better pray that the Iraq Project's math is wrong.
--Spencer Ackerman