After my post yesterday on the crudely imperialist assumptions embedded in David Ignatius’ latest column, a couple of sentences were changed. A reader caught them:
Your excerpt: “President Obama sensibly appears to be leaning toward an alternative policy that would replace Maliki with a less sectarian and polarizing prime minister — and then begin using U.S. military power on behalf of this more broadly based government. The White House is already mulling a list of alternative prime ministers.”
His piece now reads: Obama has concluded that Iraq faces all-out civil war and partition unless it replaces Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki with a less sectarian and polarizing leader. U.S. diplomats are floating the names of alternative candidates in Baghdad. Meanwhile, Obama is sending up to 300 military advisers to assess if the Iraqi army can be salvaged after it collapsed in Anbar province, Mosul and Tikrit.
Which, assuming the correction came from the administration, is good news. I was probably hyper-ventilating yesterday and not for the first time. Obama is likely not going to do something stupid in Iraq. But the tone of Ignatius’ piece was gob-smacking.