The new National Intelligence Estimate predicted that the Iraqi government "will become more precarious over the next six to 12 months" because of criticism from various Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish factions. "To date, Iraqi political leaders remain unable to govern effectively," it said. The report also maintained that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki will continue to benefit from the belief among other Shiite leaders that "searching for a replacement could paralyze the government."
The obvious irony being that President Pinhead managed to hold on to his place on Pennsylvania Avenue in much the same way. Change is a difficult and terrifying thing. Roller coasters are scary too, but we aren't nearly as resistant to them. When will the status quo be more frightening than any other alternative?
The report also suggested that Iraq's security will continue to "improve modestly" over the next six to twelve months, provided that coalition forces mount strong counterinsurgency operations and mentor Iraqi forces. You can almost hear the refrain ringing across Capitol Hill: "See? The Troop Surge is working!"
But not everyone is buying it, including Senator John Warner, who called for the withdrawal of troops to begin by Christmas. The countdown to the September report from General Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Crocker continues. What can change in a month? Can a civil war be quelled in a week? Can democracy flower in just a few days? Can order be brought from chaos? Don't we all expect them to ask for just a little more time?