Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Must Read Op/Ed in the New York Post

The general recognizes that political progress at the top in Iraq may lag as an indicator, but local initiatives look like the key to national success. He believes that, in this case, the politicians will eventually follow the people - who genuinely want better lives, not more bickering and butchery.

What will be the test of a worthy Iraqi government to Gen. Petraeus? "A government representative of and responsive to the people . . . at all levels."

I have written on this topic before.


And here.

And again, here.

This message resonates. It should be abundantly clear: This is the story that needs to be told next month when Congress gets its report on progress in Iraq. It needs to be told not because it sounds good. It needs to be told not because it deflects attention from a miserable failure in the "top-down" model of political reconciliation in Iraq. It needs to be told because this story is the truth.

Democratic central governments function when they reflect the will and consent of the governed. They cannot give that consent when they cower in fear of terrorists and militias, nor can they give their consent when their tribe wages war against the neighboring tribe or the other sect. Peace will beget reconciliation, not the other way around.