The Washington Post’s Baghdad bureau chief, Anthony Shadid, describes at foreignpolicy.com why in Iraq, “as U.S. troops pull out, it’s starting to look an awful lot like 2003:”
Like 2003, everything is in play, as the country’s forces — the men around Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, sectarian Shiite parties, remnants of the Sunni Awakening, the Kurds, the street movement of Moqtada Sadr, and so on — try to figure out the grand coalition that can make power stick as the Americans ostensibly leave.
For the first time in years, we can cover that struggle, fought on a landscape as confusing, complicated and nuanced as it was after the invasion. Sadly, there are far fewer journalists to do it, a fraction of the hundreds who arrived in 2003 with the Americans. As an administration, as journalists, as a public, we are disengaged from Iraq, and nothing short of another foreign invasion will probably change that. We are withdrawing, in more ways than one, even as the mud gets wetter.
Liz Cox Barrett is a freelance writer and graphic designer in Kalispell, Montana. She worked as a newspaper journalist in Denver and Kalispell for 20 years.