Iraq - from Dictator to Junta
After three years, half a trillion dollars, over 650,000 dead (Iraqis and Americans), and untold physical destruction, this is what we get -
IRAQ’S fragile democracy, weakened by mounting chaos and a rapidly rising death toll, is being challenged by calls for the formation of a hardline “government of national salvation”.
The proposal, which is being widely discussed in political and intelligence circles in Baghdad, is to replace the Shi’ite-led government of Nouri al-Maliki, the prime minister, with a regime capable of imposing order and confronting the sectarian militias leading the country to the brink of civil war.
Dr Saleh al-Mutlak, a prominent Sunni politician, travelled to Arab capitals last week seeking support for the replacement of the present government with a group of five strongmen who would impose martial law and either dissolve parliament or halt its participation in day-to-day government.
This is not a done deal, just one initiative among many, but it would be the simplest to execute -- much quicker and cleaner than the rumored three-state partition plan of the Baker commission. At this point, Bush would probably take any way out of the nightmare he has created, leaving Karl Rove to put a positive spin on it.
Other Iraqis dismissed the idea that a unilateral change in the leadership would be desirable or even possible. “The only person who can undertake a coup in Iraq now is General George Casey (the US commander) and I don’t think the Americans are inclined to go in that direction,” said Ahmed Chalabi, head of
a rival political party.
I see. "Unilateral change in the leadership" means one that Chalabi isn't a part of. Anthony Cordesman answers this objection:
Backroom deals are just what we specialize in.
“Nobody in Iraq has the military power to mount a traditional coup, but there could be a change in government, done in a backroom, which could see a general brought in to run the ministry of defence or the interior,” Cordesman said. “It could be regarded as a more legitimate government than the present one as long it doesn’t favour one faction.”
Bush will merely have to amend his comments about how much Iraqis love liberty - it turns out they love security more.