Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Iraq in the Balance Iraq in the Balance

WSJ: Iraq in the Balance: In Washington, panic. In Baghdad, cautious optimism by Faud Ajami is a thoughtful look at the current situation and the immediate past in Iraq. He points out that right now, the Iraqi Shia are significantly more hopeful about the future of Iraq than are Americans.

He also points out that the battle for supremecy in Iraq between the Shi'a and the Sunni Arabs is effectively over. The Sunni put their faith, as did the Palestinians, in their Sunni Arab neighbors, and it was similarly misplaced. Those who could flee, including much of the Iraqi middle class, have. They made a major strategic blunder, and have paid for it.

Yes, the Sunni terrorists are still blowing up innocents when they can. But that just reinforces the resolve of the Shi'a majority to push them out. StrategyPage has estimated that the Sunni Arab percentage of the Iraqi population has dropped by at least 1/4, to around 15% of the population since our intervention. Mr. Ajami seems to agree.

Finally, the author has more faith in the intentions and capabilities of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki than we do. He believes that the defining moment of Maliki's tenure was the execution of Saddam Hussein and several of his minions, convicted of heinous crimes against the Iraqi people. From that point forward, he has been able to effectively ignore the Sadr elements that helped put him in power, and has committed his resources to helping us subdue Sadr's Mahdi militia.

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