SO HOW ARE THINGS GOING IN IRAQ?….Miscellaneous Iraq blogging:

  • Colin Powell is now saying that he tried really, really hard to talk George Bush out of invading Iraq in 2003. It’s funny how Powell’s claims about the depth of his opposition to the war five years ago seem to increase almost linearly with the level of hopelessness of the war now.

  • CBS is reporting that Sunni leaders in Iraq plan to introduce a no-confidence vote in Nouri al-Maliki’s government a week from now. Juan Cole counts heads and predicts that al-Maliki will survive — for now.

  • Atrios is right: Kudos to New York Times public editor Clark Hoyt for pointing out the obvious: the media should not be mindlessly regurgitating White House spin about how the war in Iraq is now primarily a war against al-Qaeda. It’s a convenient fiction for the war party, but it’s not even remotely true.

In related news, the Washington Post reports that the Iraqi government is “unlikely to meet any of the political and security goals” that were set when the surge was originally announced in January. And the White House response to this? Move the goalposts, of course: “As they prepare an interim report due next week, officials are marshaling alternative evidence of progress to persuade Congress to continue supporting the war.”

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