French Foreign Minister
Posted by Peter W. Schramm
arrived in Iraq today: "Now we have to face the reality, including the American view ... but this is an Iraqi problem and it must be solved by the Iraqis." He spoke to the press in English.
6:35 PM / August 19, 2007
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Welcome to reality.
One nation down, umpteen to go.
Speaking of Iraq and reality, Mr. Schramm, I am wondering if you or anyone else here at NLT might consider addressing this item, something which strikes me as hard to ignore.
Craig Scanlon, most of NLT seems to be on vacation. So you just get me.
The article you offer seems to make the same point as the one in the original post, which no one really disputes (do they?), that Iraq as a sovereign nation needs to take care of Iraq. Politically, it began at a disadvantage, yes I am putting that mildly, especially in terms of being a democracy.
Until that happens, it would be prudent for us to increasingly let Iraqis take center stage in all matters, to come up with a nuanced policy in which we assist them from the margins but let them resolve their differences as they see fit.
Aren't we trying to do that? Isn't part of our problem that there is a segment of their population that sees "resolving their differences" as involving more murder and mayhem than we can conscience leaving behind as we make our exit?
Kouchner also said (in comments reported in USA Today--I cadged it on the train--or in one of the few IHTs I read) something to the effect that the Americans couldn't be expected to solve the Iraq problem by themselves, implying (I thought) that France was ready to engage. Of course, I saw nothing about this in the German or Austrian papers.