Dead Maliki Walking

We're taking bets on the eventual overthrow of our very own 21st Century Ngo Dinh Diem, Iraq Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki -- will it be surreptitiously sponsored by us or by al-Sadr-allied Shia hardliners? Even money right now, as Maliki's getting a surge whether he likes it or not:

"The government believes there is no need for extra troops from the American side," Haidar al-Abadi, a Parliament member and close associate of Mr. Maliki, said Wednesday. "The existing troops can do the job."

More fun: the additional Baghdad troops will be ostensibly under the command of Maliki, who will theoretically be allowed to bypass the American-controlled Ministry of Defense, as they'll be fighting alongside Iraq troops. But, of course, the plan also calls for them to engage al-Sadr's Mahdi Army, whose support Maliki depends on. Update your 2007 deathpools, kids. It's gonna be the best bloodbath ever!

Promising Troops Where They Aren't Really Wanted [NYT]


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