Thursday, November 23, 2006

The Maliki solution

"Iraq's prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, is now saying that he wants the United States to stand back and let him use Iraqi forces to restore order. Within six months, he asserts, the bloodletting will cease.
. . . If we pull back our troops temporarily and let Mr. Maliki deal with Iraq’s problems using Iraqi forces, we will be able to determine more quickly whether he can save his country as [Vietnam's Ngo Dinh] Diem saved his in 1955. We will see whether he has the political skills to cut deals with local leaders, the support of enough security forces to suppress those who won’t cut deals, and the determination to prevent the obliteration of the Sunnis.
If he does not have these attributes, it is to be hoped that the Iraqi Parliament, the Council of Representatives, will exercise its constitutional right to remove the prime minister by a vote of no confidence. Perhaps there is a better prime minister out there. It is also possible that nationalists will try to stage a coup and install a more authoritarian, less sectarian government. We may decide to condone a coup if the situation becomes desperate enough. But we would be best advised to avoid orchestrating one as we did so disastrously in 1963 [in Vietnam]."

source
The New York Times. An Iraqi Solution, Vietnam Style. November 21, 2006.

posted: thursday, november 23, 2006, 3:43 PM ET
update: thursday, november 23, 2006, 3:54 PM ET

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