Iraq

News From Iraq? Surely Not!

| Tue Aug. 25, 2009 11:09 AM EDT

Iraq has dropped out of the news:

Today, however, we actually do have some news from the 51st state. The Washington Post reports that the major pro-Iran Shiite parties in Iraq have formed a political alliance that excludes Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki (also a Shiite). This is both good news and bad news, according to the experts the Post contacted. It's bad news because it means that Maliki may be an underdog in the coming elections, making it more likely that a supporter of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's reprehensible regime in Iran might come to power in Baghdad. It's good news because it means that Maliki may ally himself with Sunni and Kurd groups, enhancing Iraqi unity:

Iraqi army Maj. Gen. Rasheed Flahe Mohammed, commander of the Samarra Operations Center, said he was thrilled to see politicians willing to cross sectarian lines, as Maliki may end up doing. Mohammed said that although he is a Shiite, he would vote for a bloc that would put a Sunni in power if he determined that person was the most qualified leader.

"I'm optimistic about this—Sunnis are allying with Shiites," he said as he watched the Shiite alliance's announcement on television. "This is something good for Iraq."

Does that seem right?