Saturday, February 28, 2009

Americans go home!--but not just yet...

The New York Times this morning has an interesting analysis of Obama's plans for pulling the troops out of Iraq. The writer, Peter Baker, gives Dubya a whole lot more credit than Obama did in his Camp Lejune speech: 'At the same time, the consensus behind Mr. Obama’s plan may stem in part from the subsiding violence since Mr. Bush changed strategies and sent more troops in January 2007, a shift that the new president, who opposed it, did not directly address in his speech. The urgency on the left to pull out faster has eased as casualties have fallen, while the imperative on the right to stay has waned with the successes of the last two years.'

The most intriguing paragraph comes at the very end:

'But others were cautious, including Sunni lawmakers worried about their influence in the Shiite-dominated government. “All Iraqis want the Americans to withdraw from Iraq as soon as possible,” said Adnan al-Dulaimi, a senior Sunni politician. “We’re just afraid of the vacuum that this withdrawal may cause.”'

Sunnis, of course, were the dominant players in Saddam Hussein's Baathist government, and likewise in the early stages of the insurgency. And now they fret at the prospect of the American withdrawal! Really, there haven't been many hegemons in the history of the world whose departure was mourned by the people they conquered. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford

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