The Iraqi Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, meets Tony Blair in London today as violence in Iraq reaches a new crescendo and senior Iraqi officials say the break up of the country is inevitable.
"Iraq as a political project is finished," a senior government official was quoted as saying, adding: "The parties have moved to plan B." He said that the Shia, Sunni and Kurdish parties were now looking at ways to divide Iraq between them and to decide the future of Baghdad, where there is a mixed population. "There is serious talk of Baghdad being divided into [Shia] east and [Sunni] west," he said.
"The government is all in the Green Zone like the previous one and they have left the streets to the terrorists," said Mahmoud Othman, a veteran Iraqi politician. He said the situation would be made worse by the war in Lebanon because it would intensify the struggle between Iran and the US being staged in Iraq. The Iraqi crisis would now receive much reduced international attention.
The switch of American and British media attention to Lebanon and away from the rapidly deteriorating situation in Baghdad is much to the political benefit of Mr Blair and Mr Bush.
"Maliki's trip to Washington is all part of the US domestic agenda to put a good face on things for November," a European diplomat in Baghdad was quoted as saying.
Everything Bush does is for domestic political purposes in November.
Break the sonofabitch into as many pieces as necessary to get our troops home quick. That sandbox never had any business trying to be one country, and we never had any business being there in the first place, let alone trying to continue a failed 85 year old British policy.