Good News in Iraq!!!
So. Nouri al-Maliki has formed a government and the lipstick is on the pig.
It doesn't matter if you call it a crypto-government, pseudo-government, proto-government, quasi-government, de jure government, dressed-up government, fake government, fantasy government, puppet government, semi-government or Green Zone government. All power - political power - has passed from the coalition partners and its quisling government to the street. Whoever voted for this government with their purple thumbs, it doesn't matter; because now the middle class is voting with their sore feet. They are leaving for foreign parts or fortified compounds. Post-Bush Baghdad is worse than pre-Clinton Sarajevo.
The point, which is obvious to everyone not dependent on Faux News, is that there is no state which matches the so-called government: there is no entity in Iraq which possesses a legitimate monopoly on the use of physical force. There are thousands of gunners and bombers in Iraq, including our own, but none of them are clothed with a remnant of legitimacy. The paper maché government lacks agreed-upon, legitimized ministers of defense and interior. To proceed further means that policing is left up to unregulated militias, gangs, death squads, or posses.
Tony Blair is more eloquent than our West-Texas Bushman, but just as feckless. He says
This is a critical moment. Now we have got a government for the first time that is one of genuine national unity.And then,
The question now is can they then make their writ run throughout the country and get to the point where Iraq can potentially take control of its own destiny?If you want to check the writ of this failed state, Tony, just check out the varying sectarian identities at the check points and in the morgues. (The former requires guts, the latter a strong stomach.) Check out how far you can get out of the Green Zone, absent convoys or air transport.
The impotence of the Iraqi Green Zone government is, in a way, an allegory for the Bush government. The Bush presidency, too, is becoming irrelevant, increasingly unable to make its writ read in Congress and in the courts. The war weighs upon it more each day, try as it does to pretend to govern on immigration, Medicare, taxes, etc. The war makes for bad daily P.R. And the public can hear the periodic ka-ching of the federal cash register as the war debt increases with each budget override passed by a helpless Congress.
Bush wants to get out of Iraq. I'm sure of it. Like Nixon before him, he wants to declare victory and leave. But unlike Nixon who inherited Vietnam, Bush broke Iraq and now owns it.
How long will it take before our fellow Americans make George finally claim it as his own?