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.