Don't Call It An Ouster

Let me note something else from the O'Pollahan appearance on Fox News Sunday. First, O'Hanlon concedes that there's been no political progress in Iraq. Then Pollack concedes the same. Then he says that "this level of political stalemate is absolutely unacceptable. And I agree with Mike entirely that we can't give this much more time." So, if in a few months things aren't any better then it's time to leave, right? No, of course, not. As is well known, integral to being Very Serious is the idea that tomorrow is never the right day to end the massive American military presence in Iraq. Instead, Pollack says that "the administration needs to be pushing much harder and maybe even thinking about, if the surge continues to work in terms of providing security, can we move to a different government, one that actually would be able to strike these hard bargains."

Chris Wallace, journalistic instincts perking up at the sight of a newsworthy coup proposal asks "When you say a different government, meaning ousting Maliki and putting another man in?" Pollack, because he's a smart guy recognizes that this is a bad idea and says he "wouldn't necessarily suggest that the United States try to oust anyone" since, after all, "Our experience of ousting foreign leaders has been a very bad one." At this point, however, he proceeds to suggest ousting Maliki:

But I think what we could do is go to the Iraqis and say, "Look, you're planning to have national elections in 2009. This government is deadlocked. It can't do it. You need to move those national level elections up and get a new parliament, hopefully one that actually can produce real results."

Will we be giving the Iraqi electorate explicit instructions on who they're supposed to vote for in these elections?

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Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

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