And Now For the Really Big Iraq Story of the Day
Letâ€™s save a little of that â€œMission Accomplishedâ€ fourth anniversary hysteria over the alleged death of Abu Ayyub al-Masri for the dayâ€™s really big story.
No, not President Bushâ€™s intended veto of the Democratic war spending-with-deadlines bill. Itâ€™s this bombshell from CNN:
BAGHDAD — Iraq’s prime minister has created an entity within his government that U.S. and Iraqi military officials say is being used as a smokescreen to hide an extreme Shiite agenda that is worsening the country’s sectarian divide.
The “Office of the Commander in Chief” has the power to overrule other government ministries, according to U.S. military and intelligence sources.
Those sources say the 24-member office is abusing its power, increasingly overriding decisions made by the Iraqi Ministries of Defense and Interior and potentially undermining the entire U.S. effort in Iraq.
The Office, as it is known in Baghdad, was set up about four months ago with the knowledge of American forces in Iraq. Its goal is ostensibly to advise Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki — the nation’s new commander in chief — on military matters.
According to a U.S. intelligence source, the Office is “ensuring the emplacement of commanders it favors and can control, regardless of what the ministries want.”
The notion being floated by the White House that Al Maliki can get his house in order if only given another six months is a grotesque fiction. And a cruel affront to every man and woman wearing an American uniform in Iraq and Afghanistan and the many thousands who have come home in pine boxes or with body parts missing.
Once more with feeling, gang: It is time to get the hell out of Iraq.