NY Times columnist Thomas Friedman pens an op-ed today that raises the right issues about the coming elections in Iraq. He writes, "We have to have a proper election in Iraq so we can have a proper civil war there." The sooner the various Iraqi factions (Shiites, Sunnis, and Kurds) exercise self-rule, the sooner they can exercise self-defense, to put it simply.
Friedman is not sanguine about the prospects for self-government in Iraq, and takes the expected potshot at the administration for what he sees as a naive approach to liberating Iraqis. Nevertheless, his op-ed presents enough context for what’s at stake to make the read worthwhile.
What he fails to acknowledge is the connection between Iraqi self-rule and American self-defense and the attendant "peace in the Middle East," or at least the beginnings of which are tied to our grand strategy in that region of the globe. This would explain why we set our sights on Saddam Hussein in the first place.