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There are days when I wish I had some special insight into goings-on in Iraqwhat might be done, whether or not it's all going to turn out okaybut most days it's difficult to read the news and do anything other than echo Juan Cole's line: "Sometimes you are just screwed." Meanwhile, in more good news, Eric Umansky notices that the new Iraqi government is laying off workersalways a good way to add a few disgruntled unemployed Iraqis to the ranks of the insurgencyand is, ah, a tad behind in paying its special forces units. Also a bit of a problem.
Now I know that Iraq is supposed to be a sort-of kind-of sovereign country, and make decisions on its own, but aren't there supposed to be American advisors around trying to warn against this sort of thing? No, apparently not; there hasn't been an ambassador in Baghdad for six months. Of course, let's not accuse the Bush administration of being slow on the draw. On matters of real urgencylike appointing an Ayn Rand acolyte to the SECthe White House has no problem racing through the nomination process.