And again, from the Washington Post:
For much of this year, the U.S. military strategy in Iraq has sought to reduce violence so that politicians could bring about national reconciliation, but several top Iraqi leaders say they have lost faith in that broad goal.
Iraqi leaders argue that sectarian animosity is entrenched in the structure of their government. Instead of reconciliation, they now stress alternative and perhaps more attainable goals: streamlining the government bureaucracy, placing experienced technocrats in positions of authority and improving the dismal record of providing basic services.
“I don’t think there is something called reconciliation, and there will be no reconciliation as such,” said Deputy Prime Minister Barham Salih, a Kurd. “To me, it is a very inaccurate term. This is a struggle about power.”
Humam Hamoudi, a prominent Shiite cleric and parliament member, said any future reconciliation would emerge naturally from an efficient, fair government, not through short-term political engineering among Sunnis and Shiites.
“Reconciliation should be a result and not a goal by itself,” he said. “You should create the atmosphere for correct relationships, and not wave slogans that ‘I want to reconcile with you.’ “
How dare they report this? And on page one! Traitors.
Oddly enough, though, the quote from Human Hamoudi actually reflects a level of politically maturity that makes me hopeful about the future of the region.
*** Update ***
Kevin Drum read the same piece and came to the conclusion that we are screwed. Also, no news yet on whether these men were sporting reconciliation lapel pins.