Why Iraq Is Crumbling

[Washington Post] Charles Krauthammer - Our objectives in Iraq were twofold and always simple: Depose Saddam Hussein and replace his murderous regime with a self-sustaining, democratic government. The first was relatively easy. But Iraq's first truly democratic government turned out to be hopelessly feeble and fractured, little more than a collection of ministries handed over to various parties, militias, and strongmen. The problem is not the number of American troops. Or of Iraqi troops. The problem is the allegiance of the Iraqi troops, many of whom swear fealty to political parties, religious sects, or militia leaders. Iraqi national consciousness is as yet too weak and the culture of compromise too undeveloped to produce an effective government enjoying broad allegiance. It was never certain whether the long-oppressed Shiites would have enough sense of nation and sense of compromise to govern rather than rule. The answer is now clear: They do not.

2006-11-17 01:00:00

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