As the security situation in Baghdad has deteriorated over the past month, there has been growing talk among Iraqi politicians about a ‘government of national salvation’ — a coup, in effect — that would impose martial law throughout the country. This coup talk is probably unrealistic, but it illustrates the rising desperation among Iraqis as the country slips deeper into civil war. The coup rumors come from several directions. U.S. officials have received reports that a prominent Sunni politician, Saleh al-Mutlak, visited Arab capitals over the summer and promoted the idea of a national salvation government, suggesting, erroneously, that it would have American support. Meanwhile, top officials of the Iraqi intelligence service have discussed a plan in which Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki would step aside in favor of a five-man ruling commission that would suspend parliament, declare martial law and call back some officers of the old Iraqi army. Ending the GOP Majority » David S. Broder A fundamental and welcome change in the political environment is possible — but only if voters pull the trigger. Frustration with Maliki’s Shiite-led government is strongest among Iraq’s Sunni minority, which dominated the old regime of Saddam Hussein. But […]

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