Thursday, September 02, 2010

In Iraq till 2020? Or a coup first?

Tom Ricks is back from vacation and passes along some Iraq pessimism unallayed by Obama's declaration of "Mission Accomplished":
Meanwhile, in the under-reported Iraq story of the month, the Iraqi army chief of staff said the U.S. military needs to stay in Iraq for another decade. "If I were asked about the withdrawal, I would say to politicians: "the US army must stay until the Iraqi army is fully ready in 2020," said Lt. Gen. Babaker Zebari.

And in the second most under-reported story of the month, here is a comment from an Iraqi politician, quoted by the awesome Anthony Shadid of the New York Times:

A leading politician related a recent conversation he had with a top Iraqi general. The politician asked about the possibility of a coup. The general, he said, deeming the talk serious, pulled out a map of the capital and provided a disconcertingly elaborate plan to execute one: overturning trucks to block the route from the main American base to the Green Zone, seizing television stations, besieging Parliament, and so on.
Whatever happens in Iraq is not, ultimately, in America's control.

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