Debating Iraq’s Transition

Things seem to be going well in Iraq of late. Tom Friedman asks why Rice isn’t not on the diplomatic offensive combined with the military surge. He is hinting at what I suspect – there’s a real chance that the insurgency is simply holding fire until the surge has run its course.

Is she just keeping away from the Iraq mess to save her image, or does she know that the Iraqi politicians will not and cannot seize this moment to reach a grand bargain, because making big public concessions to one another is still extremely dangerous in a country like Iraq. It is an invitation for assassination.

Robert Kaplan meanwhile writes about building tribal loyalties from the ground up, not imposing democracy from the top down.