Also, They Want Us Out
Abu Muqawama’s pseudonymous guest blogger has a good post giving some reasons for not freaking out over the recent spate of high-profile Iraq bombings. S/he counsels that there’s really no good reason to slow down the pace of withdrawal, contending, “what the Iraqis need is more assistance in resolving some underlying conflicts that can drive violence (Sunni integration into government, Kurdish territorial and oil disputes) and developing the governmental and economic institutions necessary to sustain the state,” and keeping a big troop presence doesn’t necessarily contribute to those ends.
To which I’d only add that Iraqi Prime Ministert Nouri al-Maliki’s rhetoric, designed to keep himself in power after the upcoming national election, is predicated on portraying himself as the guy who ends the U.S. occupation. It’s a pretty good barometer that the most rational position to take as an Iraqi politician is anti-occupation. Too often U.S. discussions of Iraq — even now, when few people seem to care about Iraq — fail to take into account Iraqi perspectives or act as if what the Iraqis think is an obstacle to be overcome, instead of the basis of a rational policy.