Horton Hears a Junta


I can't find the op-eds and quotes right now, but I could swear that Ibrahim al-Jafari's replacement by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was supposed to turn the corner (the final one, not to be confused with the 237 previous corners) in that country. And now I see (via Matthew Yglesias) that hawk Ralph Peters is calling for al-Maliki's overthrow.

Casting ballots alone doesn't make a democracy. The government has to function. And to protect all of its citizens.

In the coming months, we may find that the only hope of restoring order is a military government. It sounds repellent, but a U.S.-backed coup may be the only alternative to endless anarchy.

Arabs still can't govern themselves democratically. That's the appalling lesson of our Iraqi experiment. A military regime might be capable of establishing order and protecting the common people.

Peters isn't in the government—he's just an influential columnist. And his column in USA Today blows this away for sheer gloominess.

Iraq could have turned out differently. It didn't. And we must be honest about it. We owe that much to our troops. They don't face the mere forfeiture of a few congressional seats but the loss of their lives. Our military is now being employed for political purposes. It's unworthy of our nation.

Losing one House of Congress really wouldn't be the end of the world for Republicans; don't you think Peters would be happier if he was able to blame the Democrats for some of this?