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Iraqis Give Up On Surge Policy Goal

If we give an ineffective policy in Iraq more time, will it eventually produce political reconciliation? Not so much — even Iraqi officials now conc

If we give an ineffective policy in Iraq more time, will it eventually produce political reconciliation? Not so much — even Iraqi officials now concede that political progress is impossible, and isn’t going to happen.

Iraqi leaders argue that sectarian animosity is entrenched in the structure of their government. Instead of reconciliation, they now stress alternative and perhaps more attainable goals: streamlining the government bureaucracy, placing experienced technocrats in positions of authority and improving the dismal record of providing basic services.

“I don’t think there is something called reconciliation, and there will be no reconciliation as such,” said Deputy Prime Minister Barham Salih, a Kurd. “To me, it is a very inaccurate term. This is a struggle about power.”

Humam Hamoudi, a prominent Shiite cleric and parliament member, said any future reconciliation would emerge naturally from an efficient, fair government, not through short-term political engineering among Sunnis and Shiites.

So much for Sen. Lindsey Graham's (R-S.C.) predictive skills.

As Kevin concluded, “If reconciliation depends on the emergence of efficient, fair government in Iraq, that’s pretty much all she wrote. It’s time to pack up and go home.”

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