Effectively, I think it's reasonable to say that there never was an Iraqi government. But inasmuch as there was one, I think now it's indisputable. Iraqslogger reports:
Four major Iraqi political parties unveiled an new governing coalition of moderate Shia and Kurdish parties on Tuesday.
The deal formalized an alliance between Maliki's Dawa Party, Vice President Adel Abdel Mehdi's Supreme Iraqi Islamic Council (SIIC), Talabani's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and Massud Barzani's Kurdish Democratic Party (PDK), giving the four parties a parliamentary majority. If the alliance remains intact, they will be positioned to push through legislative initiative.
Notice that the list doesn't include the Sunni alliance, which is still boycotting the parliament--a fact which no doubt plays a role in the formation of this new alliance. There are seemingly endless technical implications to this reconfiguration, including how much power an alliance this size will actually have (seemingly very little, although the details are a bit unclear to me and out of my league).
But to me, what's more important is this:
The Sunni parties of the Iraqi Accordance Front (IAF) recently commenced a boycott of the government, withdrawing their 44-seats.
According to VOI, Talabani said they had contacted the largest Sunni party of the bloc, the Iraqi Islamic Party, in an attempt to involve it in the agreement, but it responded "that the circumstances were not appropriate."
The AP reports Iraq's Sunni vice-president, Tariq al-Hashemi, and his moderate Iraqi Islamic party refused to join despite assurances from the country's Kurdish president, Jalal Talabani, that the door was "always open".
Recap: Out in the provinces we're arming Sunni militias. In Baghdad we're trying to achieve meaningful political reconciliation between the major players in a government that has extremely limited influence anywhere. These two initiatives are, as noted many times before, entirely at odds with each other. They've led Maliki, according to some reports, to consider providing additional arms to Shiite militias to counterbalance the growing strength of the enemy Sunnis. And so, faced essentially with a choice between working to extend the reach of the political system and endorsing continued American-fueled violence in the provinces, the Sunnis in Baghdad chose the latter. Violence, they have concluded, is their best hope for having even a modest say in the future of their country. And they may well be strategically correct. But that's in large part because the Bush administration's wholly incongruent decisions have driven the Iraqi government into irrelevance and, perhaps ultimately towards complete disintegration.