Sunday, July 24, 2005

John Burns on Iraq

The best reporter on this story gives us the harsh reality on the ground in Iraq. Maybe, as the U.S. commanders tell Burns, we're going to have begin looking at our best worst options:

America, these officers seem to be saying, can do only so much, and if Iraqis are hellbent on settling matters violently - at the worst, by civil war - that, in the end, would be their sovereign choice.
The new U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, obviously has a brutal assignment ahead of him:

"Iraq is poised at the crossroads between two starkly different visions," he said. "The foreign terrorists and hardline Baathist insurgents want Iraq to fall into a civil war."

The new ambassador struck a positive chord, to be sure, saying "Iraqis of all communities and sects, like people everywhere, want to establish peace and create prosperity." Still, his coda remained one of caution: "I do not underestimate the difficulty of the present situation."

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