Has the hope of any political progress in Iraq come to this, calls for the PM to step down? Just how screwed up is the governmental situation over there? How can Bush et al expect any improvement to come militarily -- at least insofar as improvement independent of U.S. urging -- if the political outlook remains bleak and is perhaps worsening?
Yet it is written elsewhere:
US officials in Baghdad and Washington, under pressure to show political progress in Iraq to an increasingly skeptical Congress, are scrambling to shore up support for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, whose shaky coalition government has been on the verge of collapse since a rash of Cabinet defections earlier this month, analysts and government officials said yesterday.To what extent, if at all, does the average American know about this imminent "collapse"? To what extent will the Petraeus report mention it?
At least three separate attempts to unseat Maliki are unfolding in Baghdad -- two from within his own Shi'ite coalition. Nearly half of the ministers in his Cabinet have resigned or are boycotting official meetings. The defections have so thinned the ranks of his supporters that some analysts say that Maliki might not be able to survive a vote of no confidence in the Iraqi parliament, if such a vote were called.
"My view is that his government is in essential collapse," said Kenneth Katzman, a Middle East specialist at the Congressional Research Service, the research arm of Congress.
So many questions, so few offered answers.