So let's take stock. Pretty much everyone has lost confidence in Nouri al-Maliki, though there's no replacement in sight who seems like a better bet. The police force is so corrupt that the best advice the Jones commission can offer is to disband it completely and start over from scratch. And the Iraqi army, after three years of intensive training designed by one Gen. David Petraeus, has a grand total of six battalions capable of operating on their own.Has Iraq become a bit like Bush? Bush's presidency has descended from bad to worse and yet his approval numbers seem to go no lower than about 30%. GW could be shown on national TV taking a dump on his Oval Office desk, buck naked, while watching porn and yet his approval rating might slip to perhaps 29%.
In other words, except for the fact that Iraq has a disfunctional government, a disfunctional police force, and a barely functional army, things are going great. I can't wait to see how Crocker and Petraeus spin this into an argument for staying another four years.
Likewise, just how bad does it need to get in Iraq for it to have any added impact on politicians, the media, etc.? We read about the governmental problems, with Sunnis breaking away and the no-confidence in Maliki, U.S. troop deaths are up, and now we find the police force is as much a problem as the insurgency. Yet we'll witness Bush's flaks trot out the just-give-it-a-few-more-months line despite all evidence to the contrary being the right course of action.
When Bush finally high-tails it out of DC, many will finally look back and realize that the many billions approved to extend this war was a complete waste of money. In addition, many more U.S. soldiers will have needlessly died in what has now clearly become a political exercise of putting lipstick on a pig until it can become a problem for someone else to remedy. Bush, Crocker, Petraeus et al truly know how bad it is and how much is already lost but they would rather prop-up fictional optimism to desperately kick the can down the road. What stalwart leadership.