discusses Iraq today. He makes the point that we should try and decide what the Iraqis want before making policy, and that success depends on it.
It would make sense that we should look to Iraqi leaders in helping to shape policy in their country. Arkin points to the visit of the leading Iraqi Shiite, Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, to Washington this week. Al-Hakim wants the American military to be tougher on Sunni insurgents.
The situation is so complicated that it's continues to defy simple analysis or simplistic policy. Of course Shiites want us to attack Sunni's. And of course many of the "government officials" want the U.S. to stay in Iraq for a bit longer. After all, whose ass will be the first to go if we withdraw?
I'm wondering if Arkin doesn't miss point in his article "Do We Understand Iraq". If his point is that we need to further understand what Iraqis want before shaping policy, I think he's nuts. The real problem in Iraq is that they
don't know what they want (which is really Arkin's point I think). Or rather, there are about fifteen different points of view, all in conflict, as to what Iraqi's want. That why it's called a civil war. And until all sides are exhausted in resources, people, money and will to fight, there will not emerge any concensus on "what Iraq wants", and further involvement of Americans will continue to be futile. Which is exactly why we need to get out, and get out of the way.