Thursday, November 30, 2006

My Pet Dawa

A postponed meeting,a leaked memo, a collapsing Iraqi government -- could it be that Bush really has no clue what he's doing?

And it couldn't possibly be because the insurgents are actually effective at what they're doing -- which is disrupting social systems, making a day-to-day existence impossible.

The CW has long been that Hamid Karzai, title notwithstanding, is effectively the mayor of Kabul. Nouri al-Maliki isn't even that -- he's the alderman of the Green Zone, four miles square of concentric concrete rings and heavily fortified checkpoints. The only card he has to play is to show his people that he's not Bush's boy, and there's only so many opportunities to play that card.

As for Bush, people have finally gotten wise to his marked deck, and he has no more hand. He's essentially the slow kid in PE class -- they let him stand on the sideline with a coach's whistle and pretend he's coaching, but he's too slow to realize that the pea in the whistle has been removed. He's over and done, they're just letting him go through the motions, and maybe at least salvage enough of his tattered legacy to at least be able to travel outside the country after his term is done. (Not that he would ever do such a thing willingly.)

Maliki is essentially the new fish in state prison -- he has to sleep looking over his shoulder, his very life is so precarious. He has already leaned toward his Shi'a backers, and has no real options but to continue that drift. Since Bush has nothing better to offer him, it's the only thing that makes sense.

What still doesn't make sense is the extent to which Bush genuinely still appears to actually believe what he's saying. Either he's gone around the bend, or they should nominate him for an Academy Award.

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