Meanwhile, in Iraq...

| Fri Jul. 21, 2006 4:29 PM EDT

It's a nightmare:

Iraqi leaders have all but given up on holding the country together and, just two months after forming a national unity government, talk in private of "black days" of civil war ahead.

Signalling a dramatic abandonment of the U.S.-backed project for Iraq, there is even talk among them of pre-empting the worst bloodshed by agreeing to an east-west division of Baghdad into Shi'ite and Sunni Muslim zones, senior officials told Reuters

Tens of thousands have already fled homes on either side.

"Iraq as a political project is finished," one senior government official said -- anonymously because the coalition under Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki remains committed in public to the U.S.-sponsored constitution that preserves Iraq's unity.So that's that. Prepare the body bags. Meanwhile, are some of the president's deep thoughts about the crisis in Lebanon:

President Bush's unwillingness to pressure Israel to halt its military campaign in Lebanon is rooted in a view of the Middle East conflict that is sharply different from that of his predecessors….

In the administration's view, the new conflict is not just a crisis to be managed. It is also an opportunity to seriously degrade a big threat in the region, just as Bush believes he is doing in Iraq. Israel's crippling of Hezbollah, officials also hope, would complete the work of building a functioning democracy in Lebanon and send a strong message to the Syrian and Iranian backers of Hezbollah.Basically, we're all fucked. Maybe everyone really should start preparing for the rapture.

Get Mother Jones by Email - Free. Like what you're reading? Get the best of MoJo three times a week.