Joe Klein spanks Ken Pollack and Michael O'Hanlon
What's Missing in this Column? - Swampland - TIME: [Y]ou really can't write a piece about the war in Iraq and devote only two sentences to the political situation, which is disastrous and, as Petraeus has said, will determine the success or failure of the overall effort.
It could be argued that what the U.S. military is now accomplishing is clearing the field of foreigners--i.e. the Al Qaeda in Iraq foreign fighters--so that the indigenous Sunnis and Shi'ites can go at each other in a full-blown civil war, complete with Srebrenica style massacres. (Although a precursor to that civil war is the internecine Shi'ite battle between the Hakim and Sadr militias that is about to take place in Basrah. If Sadr wins that fight, he will control Baghdad and the southern oil fields--and will be the de facto leader of Shi'ite Iraq.) I see absolutely no evidence that the majority Shi'ites are willing to concede anything to the minority Sunnis, and there are significant signs that Baghdad is being ethnically cleansed.
Yes, progress has been made in the fight against the most extreme jihadis (AQI), but that should not be extrapolated into anything resembling optimism.... And if we manage to put a major hurt on AQI--which is Bush's (current) rationale for us being there--what rationale remains for us staying there if the Iraqis themselves are intent on slaughtering each other?
Take it a step further, Joe: you can't write such a column, but Ken Pollack and Michael O'Hanlon do. What does that tell you about them?