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This article summed it up pretty good.
PM Maliki called his hand-picked military commanders to Baghdad in order to try and organize a coup d'etat.
  Much to his surprise, at least half of them said no.

  Which explains why there was an appearance of a coup that never happened.

The only question left is when does someone put a bullet in Maliki?

 PM Maliki seems to think so.
And this.

 Troops have since been reported encircling the Presidential palace, and there are unconfirmed reports of an explosion from within the building.
  Mr Maliki has this morning lashed out against his opponents, calling them “ministers for ISIS”.
 More evidence.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has ordered special forces loyal to him to deploy across strategically important locations in the capital city of Baghdad today, a move nominally in response to a rumored coup against him but primarily focused on preventing his replacement with a new premier by parliament.
   In setting the stage for a battle against a putative coup against his continued rule, Maliki appears to be taking steps toward a coup of his own, effectively cementing his rule in Baghdad through force of arms.
 Where have we heard this before? Maliki's government, installed by the United States, is guilty of extensive human rights abuses, such as rape, torture, and murder.
   The American trained and supplied army has completely failed against an outmanned and outgunned opponent.
   The United States has stared evacuating our embassy.

   And now there is talk of a coup.

 
   Still need a hint?
Maliki = Diem

  And to think: Today is the 50th Anniversary of  the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution.

There's a lesson to be learned here.
  The good news is that if we just put 500,000 American troops into Iraq we should be able to prop up the government for another 10 years.

4:07 PM PT: It's looking more and more like a coup.

 UNCONFIRMED reports suggest troops loyal to controversial Iraqi PM Nuri al-Maliki have sealed off Baghdad’s “Green Zone” in an apparent coup.

  “There is a huge security presence, police and army, especially around the Green Zone,” the highly-protected district that houses Iraq’s key institutions, a high-ranking police officer has confirmed to AFP.

   He said the deployment started at around 10:30 pm Iraq time, just 90 minutes before Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki announced on state television he would file a complaint against the president for violating the constitution.

   “There is security everywhere in Baghdad, these are very unusual measures that look like those we impose for a state of emergency,” the police official said.

6:07 PM PT: The U.S. State Department has officially broke with Maliki and supports Fuad Masum.

Iran also wants Maliki to step down.

  The Kurds have no use for Maliki. The Sunnis want him dead. Shia religious leaders have asked him to step aside. His foreign allies of Iran and America have abandoned him.

   And then Maliki has turned to brute force to retain power, with nobody watching his back.

  This is bar-knuckles politics and Maliki doesn't know when to leave.

6:48 PM PT: The BBC take on it is a "show of force", which is still rather naive. Democracies don't have "shows of force" by the CIC against the rest of the government.

Within an hour, Shia militiamen and security forces loyal to Mr Maliki appeared at key centres in Baghdad. There were no reports of violence.
This is the first I've heard of Shia militiamen (which is another term for "paramilitary"). That is a very bad sign to me.

9:18 PM PT: Some here and elsewhere still deny that its a coup. I'm curious how else you can describe this.

 In actions that had all the markings of a political coup, Maliki gave a defiant late-night speech in Baghdad saying he would lodge a legal case against the country’s president, who has resisted naming him as the candidate for another term as prime minister.

   Tanks rumbled onto major bridges and roads in the capital as security forces were put on high alert, with militiamen also patrolling Shiite neighborhoods. The special forces teams surrounding the Green Zone were taking orders directly from the prime minister, security officials said.
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