ANALYZING IRAQ….The Congressional Research Service has done its own independent analysis of Iraq, and it ain’t good:

“My assessment is that because of the number and breadth of parties boycotting the cabinet, the Iraqi government is in essential collapse,” Kenneth Katzman, the author of the report, said. “That argues against any real prospects for political reconciliation.”

Without a political infrastructure in Iraq, any military progress would be short-lived, he added.

Katzman, who grew up in Long Island, also challenged the success of the Baghdad Security Plan, known as the troop “surge,” which President Bush claims is working.

“I would even question the military progress,” he said.

Many senior State Department officials in Iraq believe a political solution to the war is now “hopeless,” according to a top diplomat.

“I would agree with that,” Katzman said.

This comes via Steve Benen, who reminds us that we now have four separate reports (from CRS, the GAO, the Jones commission, and our embassy in Iraq) all telling us pretty much the same thing: progress on the security front is tiny at best and progress on the political front is either zero or negative.

But none of that matters, does it? Petraeus and Bush and McCain all say the surge is working. So it’s working.

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