BAGHDAD, July 21 (Reuters) - 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.Unbelievable. With American forces basically resigned to "force protection" (that is, staying put on their bases with limited activity) there's no point to keeping them in-country anyway. All the US has managed to do - in 3 years of war - is to create a giant black hole at the center of the Muslim world.
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.
Oh, but don't worry, I'm sure this won't have any lasting effects.