The progress since last summer has been remarkable. ...it's worth asking why Democratic presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton remain so unwilling to alter their outdated and dogmatic views about the war.Contrast with:
What with this and the Anbar Salvation Council threatening to take up arms against the elected council and refusing to fly the new Iraqi flag and dismissing the entire Parliament as illegitimate and Awakenings leaders declaring that no Iraqi police are allowed in their territory and clashing with them when they do and blaming Shi'ite militias (and not al-Qaeda) for the wave of attacks against them and fighting over territory and threatening to quit if they aren't paid, it really is hard to see why anybody would think that there might be anything troublesome about the relationship between the Awakenings and the Iraqi "state". Nothing to see here but great big gobs of victory folks, please move along.One has a track record of good analysis, and the other has a large audience. The Washington Post editorial board (aka Fred Hiatt) is disconnected from reality. I'm pretty sure that if we had just listened to Fred Hiatt and the Washington Post for the last 6 years, and then done the opposite, it'd be like hitting the easy button and freedom would be on the march. It's ironic that, at the very moment that Fred Hiatt is labeling Obama and Clinton's policy views "outdated", McClatchy runs a story on the failure of the policy that Hiatt champions.
Violence in Iraq is increasing, because the groups that had allied with us (CLCs and tribal Awakening groups) finally got fed up with the lack of political benefits. They decided, why be allied with Americans if the Shi'a still kill us? We were unable to answer the question Marc Lynch had been asking for over a year, about how to integrate our local Sunni allies with the Shi'a government.