A Win-Win In Iraq?
I know it doesn’t have anything to do with the crisis between Georgia and Russia over a breakaway province you’ve never heard of, but in this Washington Post piece about the expanded Iraqi political horizon, the following quote stands out:
Last month, in the city of Fallujah in Anbar province, once the nexus of the Sunni insurgency, the newest political player emerged. Leaders of al-Nassir Salah al-Din Army, a Sunni militant group, declared they would renounce violence and form a political party called the National Front of Iraq’s Liberals to compete in elections. "We found out that armed action will not get the United States out of Iraq," said Majid Ali Enad, the group’s leader. "After five years of directing painful blows to them, they did not budge from a single meter in the country."
Sure, no one who leads something called Saladin’s Army is an actual liberal. But does it really matter? If there’s an authentic Iraqi push to end the occupation through politics, the U.S. should encourage it. Imagine how important it could be if someone was able to say, I ended the occupation through democratic political participation, not violence. Now imagine if that someone had the in-the-trenches credibility of being a former militia leader. Win-win, right?