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But It Still Ain't Over, Over There

Monday, Apr. 24, 2006 1:54 AM

Iraq has chosen its new prime minister, Jawad al-Maliki, a hard-line Shiite politician who now has a month to assemble his cabinet.

President Bush gushed effusively about the compromise, which comes after weeks of sectarian violence and four months of a deadlock between Shiite, Kurdish, and Sunni factions.

But don't you just love the smell of bullshit in the morning? American officials wax poetical about a government which shares power, backed by competent, nonsectarian ministers ... just about everything the Bush Administration isn't doing.

They also suggest that this will allow a draw down of American troops in the region, despite a Newsweek report suggesting that the Pentagon has other plans, as indicated by a very permanent-looking airbase being built at Balad.

Maliki's intent is for independent militias to lay down arms - completely - and be folded into the national armed forces; others insist on remaining armed for their own safety.

Now, I've thought about my opinion on this issue a bit, wanting to make sure I'm not doomsaying because I dislike the Bush Administration and its policies.

I think we're still sitting on a powder keg, and we're playing with matches. The Bush Administration has been fundamentally dishonest with itself; from that stems their unwillingness to admit error and conduct appropriate review -- a necessary and worthy ability for principled leadership.

Yet, at an appearance at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, Mr. Bush couldn't offer anything more cogent than his stock, "... the only way we can lose in Iraq is if we lose our nerve."

Which still sounds like a little kid trying to convince his friends to shoplift.

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