The Magazine

Progress, Actually

Things are looking up in Iraq, which is why the Democrats have forgotten about benchmarks.

Apr 21, 2008, Vol. 13, No. 30 • By FREDERICK W. KAGAN
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So we have significant progress within the Iraqi government. We have significant grassroots political development. We have Sunni and Shia Arabs fighting together against both Sunni and Shia enemies that they now see as common foes. We have the central government distributing its funds both to Sunni and to Shia areas. Despite the supposed flaws in the de-Baathification reform law, excellent Sunni commanders who could theoretically have been purged remain in key positions in the Iraqi military and police forces. The only groups that remain outside of the political process are al Qaeda, the Baathist insurgents, and the Iranian-backed Special Groups. If this isn't dramatic progress toward reconciliation, what would such progress look like? One congressman last week had the gall to complain about Iraq's "intransigent political leaders." The more intransigent political class is here in Washington.

--Frederick W. Kagan, for the editors