David Ignatius in the Washington Post supplies something that has been lacking in the MSM — an acknowledgement that the selection of Jawad al-Maliki to be Iraq’s prime minister is good news. As a bonus, Ignatius explains why the selection enhances the chances of national unity. For one thing, al-Maliki represents “a modest declaration of independence from Iran.” And by resisting Iranian pressure to back Ibrahim al-Jafari, Shiite leaders “stood up for a unified Iraq.”
We should remember, however, that “back room” political victories, though important, must be accompanied by a substantial diminution in the violence that plagues parts of the country including Baghdad. Al-Maliki’s selection is an important step towards that vital objective, but it hardly guarantees success.