THE TWILIGHT REALM OF HIS OWN SECRET THOUGHTS. Given the inexplicable high regard in which he's held by the conservative foreign policy elite, Charles Krauthammer is always a pretty good indicator of what new, delusional strategy they're banking on this week. Today he suggests that now, rather than creating secure space for political reconciliation, the point of the surge is to buy time for Nuri al-Maliki's government to be replaced:

"We should have given up on Maliki long ago and begun to work with other parties in the Iraqi Parliament to bring down the government, yielding either a new coalition of less sectarian parties...

The choice is difficult because replacing the Maliki government will take time and because there is no guarantee of ultimate political success. Nonetheless, continuing the surge while finally trying to change the central government is the most rational choice because the only available alternative is defeat — a defeat that is not at all inevitable and would be both catastrophic and self-inflicted."

Just for fun, I'd really like to know which "less sectarian parties" Chuck's thinking of. My suspicion is that he hasn't a clue. In any case, do you think it ever enters Krauthammer's mind that claiming to support Iraqi democracy while at the same time speaking of its government as if it could be hired and fired at the president's pleasure might be somewhat contradictory?

--Matthew Duss