Much as I hate to disagree with my coblogger, why would we ever want to leave Iraq right when we’re getting a really good civil war going?

Iraq’s Prime Minister was staring into the abyss today after his operation to crush militia strongholds in Basra stalled, members of his own security forces defected and district after district of his own capital fell to Shia militia gunmen.

With the threat of a civil war looming in the south, Nouri al-Maliki’s police chief in Basra narrowly escaped assassination in the crucial port city, while in Baghdad, the spokesman for the Iraqi side of the US military surge was kidnapped by gunmen and his house burnt to the ground.

Saboteurs also blew up one of Iraq’s two main oil pipelines from Basra, cutting at least a third of the exports from the city which provides 80 per cent of government revenue, a clear sign that the militias — who siphon significant sums off the oil smuggling trade — would not stop at mere insurrection.

Good times. The only thing that could make this better is if Sky Captain Andy Rooney was around to keep Iran from arming the, uh, Sunni militants who we, uh, are paying so they either will or won’t take sides in the civil war we now apparently want to happen. That’s robust foreign policy, is what that is. Besides, counting corpses is so much fun.

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