Friday, November 23, 2007

Turning Tides In Iraq

by Charles Krauthammer - November 23rd, 2007 -

Why is top-down national reconciliation as yet unattainable? Because decades of Saddam's totalitarianism followed by the brutality of the post-invasion insurgency destroyed much of the political infrastructure of the country, causing the Iraqis to revert to the most basic political attachment -- tribe and locality. Gen. David Petraeus' genius has been to adapt American strategy to capitalize on that development, encouraging the emergence of and allying ourselves with tribal and provincial leaders -- without waiting for cosmic national deliverance from the newly constructed and still dysfunctional constitutional apparatus in Baghdad.

Al-Qaeda in Iraq is in disarray, the Sunni insurgency in decline, the Shiite militias quiescent, the capital city reviving. Are we now to reverse course and abandon all this because parliament cannot ratify the reconciliation already occurring on the ground?

The neo-conservative goal of democracy in Iraq is not yet working, and yet it is clear that our military, a symbol of our form of democracy, is winning the hearts and minds of both the Iraq people and many of their leaders. This dichotomy should be apparent to all. We are winning even if not by the exact method our politicians had planned. Why is it that the Democrat Party leadership cannot see it?


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