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Friday, May 28, 2004

Agreement in Najaf

From the NY Times:
American forces and guerrillas loyal to the radical cleric Moktada al-Sadr agreed Thursday to quit fighting in Najaf, in a deal that signaled the possible end of seven weeks of fighting in the city, during which scores of Iraqis have died.

The agreement, hammered out between Mr. Sadr and Iraqi leaders and approved by the Americans, requires that the fighters of the Mahdi Army get off the streets and if they are from other cities, to leave and for the Americans to pull most of their forces out of the city.
Although plenty of the details are different, this seems similar to what happened in Fallujah. After bloody fighting for weeks, the coalition finally agrees to cede the city back to the Iraqis, a proper and wise decision. Why they can't see that doing the same thing now for the entire country, BEFORE thousands of more people are killed and wounded for nothing, is also the proper and wise decision, is infuriating. The Iraqis are going to control Iraq. We can make that easy, or make it difficult. The easy way is to GET OUT NOW.

Maybe Iraqis won't be able to govern themselves well. Who knows? But we've got plenty of evidence that the "coalition" is a miserable failure at the job, with no signs of improving except for the long-overdue concessions to reality in Fallujah and Najaf.