June 02, 2004

Optimism on Iraq?

Things have been looking a bit better over the past few weeks in Iraq, no?

Fallujah has quieted down, we are beating back Sadr's insurgency, a government that smells somewhat homegrown and legitimate (the new Sunni President even has the requisite mustache!) is in the process of assuming power.

Needless to say, manifold pitfalls loom. But developments have taken a turn for the better of late.

Smart people (and frequent Administration critics) like Fareed Zakaria are happier too.

Zakaria, writing in today's WaPo:

"The administration had stubbornly insisted that no more troops were needed in Iraq. But today, there are 20,000 additional soldiers in the country.

From the start it refused to give the United Nations any political role in Iraq. Now the United Nations is a partner, both in the June 30 transition and in preparing for elections. U.N. envoy Lakhdar Brahimi was the "quarterback," Bush said yesterday.

Radical "de-Baathification," the pet project of the Pentagon and Ahmed Chalabi, has been overturned. The army that was disbanded is being slowly recreated.

Heavy-handed military tactics have given way to a more careful political-military strategy in Fallujah, Karbala and Najaf that emphasizes a role for local leaders."

Yeah, adult supervision is back at the helm. Rather than utopian hail mary passes--we are now smartly navigating the rocky shoals of post-war Iraq in realist vein.

Better late than never.

And it shows that Bush is not some bull-headed, clueless messianic figure.

There is some pragmatism in those genes (Poppy, surveying the scene from Kennebunkport, is doubtless happier of late too)!

Posted by Gregory at June 2, 2004 08:33 AM
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