This Won't Be the Iraq Election

By Zakaria, Fareed | Newsweek, November 12, 2007 | Go to article overview

This Won't Be the Iraq Election


Zakaria, Fareed, Newsweek


Byline: Fareed Zakaria

Petraeus's new strategy is working, though not exactly for the reasons initially advertised.

The Presidential campaign has jostled this way and that, contenders have risen and fallen, but the one fixture in the political firmament has been Iraq. Polls have consistently said Iraq would be the central issue of the 2008 campaign. The candidates have developed elaborately studied and rehearsed positions on the war. But what if the subject moves off center stage? In the new NEWSWEEK Poll, the economy now tops Iraq as the issue that voters say will most influence their choice for president, 22 percent to 19 percent. For two years, Iraq dominated these kinds of surveys. Only a month ago, in a CBS News poll, 28 percent of respondents wanted Iraq to be the campaign's most-discussed issue, while the economy came in second at 16 percent. One can't make too much of one poll, but other evidence also suggests that the gap seems to be closing.

Why is this happening? The administration would argue that it is a consequence of the surge. And there's some truth to this. Violence is down, Al Qaeda in Iraq is weaker and American casualties are falling. Gen. David Petraeus's new strategy is working, though not exactly for the reasons initially advertised.

When the president announced the surge last January, I wrote a column arguing that it was likely to succeed militarily (by providing better security) but would probably fail politically (because of a lack of political reconciliation). I was both right and wrong. More U.S. troops have meant better security. But they are not at the heart of current improvements in Iraq. The key is that Petraeus has been willing to do what no American official has until now: accept Iraq for what it is and not what Washington wants it to be. Searching for a stable order, Petraeus has allied himself with whoever, within reason, could produce that order.

In insurgent-ridden Anbar he realized that the only way to effectively fight Al Qaeda in Iraq was to have allies within the Sunni community rather than to use a largely Shiite and Kurdish Army. That meant cozying up to Sunni tribesmen, even those with shady pasts. Several Sunni towns and neighborhoods report being given money, infrastructure and training directly by the United States. Petraeus has, in effect, given up hopes of Shiite leaders in Baghdad reconciling with Sunnis, and instead he's made up with them himself. The result has been that Al Qaeda in Iraq has been marginalized, Sunni leaders no longer demand an American withdrawal and the Shiites have recognized that America's support is not unconditional.

In the Shiite south, U.S. policy has abandoned the goal of an impartial government and has picked a side: Abdul Aziz al-Hakim's Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI), which holds sway over most local governments in the region. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

This Won't Be the Iraq Election
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.