Thursday, November 09, 2006

Help Iraq Help Itself

Frederick D. Barton, a director of the Post-Conflict Reconstruction Project at CSIS, wrote an op-ed in the NYT yesterday that urges the United States not to punish PM Maliki for his recent defiance of the US. Barton claims that Maliki's independence may be our best chance for a sustainable Iraq and the only way the US can leave the country within a reasonable time-frame.
"As America moves away from its Iraq engagement, the United States government is in need of being saved from itself. The administration cannot find a way to leave because of its own early rhetoric and the advocacy of many Democrats for a timetable...The United States has suggested in the past that if the Iraqi government invited us to leave, we would oblige. We must prepare ourselves for this event. While being shown the door is never comfortable, the United States is ready to leave and the conditions are not likely to get better."
He concludes: "Mr. Maliki’s new independence is America’s best chance to salvage the muddle Iraq has become. Let’s not get in his way."

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