MOVING THE CHESS PIECES….I’ve gotten a couple of emails asking why I haven’t commented on recent mutterings from various quarters suggesting that the Maliki government is failing and needs to be changed. Candles in the wind include George Bush recently toning down his support for Maliki, Carl Levin telling the Iraqis in no uncertain terms that they need a new government, and Ayad Allawi kinda sorta suggesting that a coup led by Ayad Allawi would be fine thing.

Just for the record, then, the reason I haven’t said anything is that these ideas are so transparently unlikely that I can’t believe anyone is taking them seriously. Sure, the Maliki government is failing, but that’s because the underlying dynamics of Iraqi politics are impossible to square. Mohammad himself could probably rise from the grave and be unable to unify the Iraqi government at this point.

I’ve written before about the possibility of new coalitions forming in Iraq and have been properly scoffed at for even bringing the subject up. But even back in June it looked as if something like what we’re seeing now might happen for purely domestic reasons: namely that if someone new takes over in Iraq it gives the pro-war crowd yet another excuse to insist that change is in the air and we need to give the new guy a fair chance to prove that he can make a difference. Odds of that actually happening? Nil. The whole idea is nuts. It really doesn’t deserve serious attention as a solution for any of Iraq’s problems.