But the logic of the 'surge' is that we're also cracking down on Maliki. We're giving him one more chance to get it right. And if they won't do their part, we're outta there. Or in other words, we pull up stakes without acheiving victory.
Just *who* are we giving the second chance to, after all the failures? Maliki? Please. This has been a constant rhetorical technique with the administration. Describe yourself, but replace your enemy's name with yours. This is Bush's last chance to punt his catastrophe into the next presidency.
Of course, we might also mention the point that the incomparable John Burns made on Anderson Cooper's show last night: that it's silly to really believe that Maliki is going to try to crush the Mahdi Army when they a) give him the votes to remain Prime Minister and b), more importantly, those are the fighters Maliki is planning on using the Civil War really gets cracking. As Burns put it, they're Maliki's Plan B.Maliki is not failing. He knows who's gonna be left after the US eventually pulls out: the militias. The militias don't have the option to pull out any more than he does. They're in this for the long term, unlike some meddling, ineffectual superpower. Maliki's gonna placate Bush, who's only a bloviator at best and pay attention to the guys who've got the gun to his head: the militias.
Would anyone do any different in his (impossible) position?