Those who had descended upon Iraq to defeat the United States through terrorism, initially finding favor and support from the “rejectionists,” have themselves been rejected by the Iraqi people. Their strategy to ignite a sectarian civil war has failed. And though they still pose a threat to security, those extremist Islamists were comprehensively and strategically defeated in a Muslim country, a development of profound significance.
The elements in Iraq who thought that they could dominate and create a new form of dictatorship with the trappings of democracy have discovered that they must accept the principles of power sharing.
Rubin then comes up with a 3-step plan that, if Obama is wise, he’d accept, as it manages to offer something to both sides:
This should be an easily embraceable formulation for the Obama administration: 1) The elections were a success; 2) The violence has diminished but the U.S. still has a critical role to play; and 3) The risk and cost of a precipitous withdrawal can easily be avoided by, as the Ambassador describes, “joint consultantions” in accord with the status of forces agreement to determine the appropriate speed of the drawn down of forces.
Note, please, the antiwar folks get their draw down, but without the Al Qaeda or other Islamoterrorist takeover of Iraq that us hawks fear if there is a hasty withdrawal.
Given Obama’s post-election steps on Iraq, including keeping Bush’s SecDef Gates, I really don’t have much difficulty in seeing the President embracing this policy, although he’ll probably put it into his own words. If he does, I’ll be glad to admit that he got this one right.