"National Security Adviser Mouwafak al-Rubaie, meanwhile, traveled to the Shiite holy city of Najaf on Tuesday to meet with Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani, the Shiite community’s most revered spiritual leader. Al-Rubaie emerged to tell reporters "the way to forming the government is difficult and planted with political bombs. We ask the Iraqi people to be patient, and we expect forming the government will take a few months." " Forbes
Stephen Colbert of the "Colbert Report" is a new hero of mine. Last night he said on his show that "people" should stop hyperventilating over the words "civil war" in connection with Iraq because "civil war" is spelled "exit strategy." This is amusing no matter how grim the prospect.
For Rubaie to go to Sistani with his hat in his hand is confirmation for every Sunni in the world of the character of the emerging government in Iraq.
Nevertheless, I would urge "people" not to get their underwear in "a twist" just yet, Iraqis are remarkably tough folk. They are engaged in settling scores that are a thousand years old while re-distributing political and economic power in the only ways that are left to them in the situation that we inadvertently created. The elections "thingy" does not work peacefully in the absence of an electorate that accepts its common identity across ethno-religious group boundaries. There is no "Iraqi People" except in the minds of foreigners who do not understand the ethnography of Iraq or in the minds of Arabs who see what they want to see.
Rumsfeld or someone said that Democracy is a messy business. This isn’t democracy unless one thinks that bullets count more than votes in places like Iraq, but it IS a long term process of settling issues of power and wealth among the communities in Mesopotamia.
I have said for a long time now that Iraq was in a state of civil war. Civil war does not = exit strategy for me. We are where we are in Iraq as a result of our own foolish actions and misconceptions. Yes. Casualties are up. Yes. They may get even higher in numbers. Does that mean that a final crisis is upon us? No. Iraqis would not accept that and I think that they would be right.
Can we walk away? I have seen my country walk away from people who trusted it too many times. If the "American People" want to walk away from those who have sided with us in Iraq. then we should start preparing for refugee re-settlement. There will be no forgiveness for those who sided with us in a post US Iraq.
For my part, I will have nothing to do with abandoning them and I believe that US soldiers in Iraq would not want that either.