David Ignatius, a pretty reliable, thoughtful guy, our choices are to a) try to create a new "security architecture" that brings moderate Sunnis & Shiites together from across the Mid East to help stabilize Iraq and Syria, or b) keep sending guns and cash to try to stem the extremist tide militarily without committing US troops. The first option may take a few thousand years, and the second seems likely to fail while also turning more against the west...and costing whole a lot more money. The murderous, extremist hordes are now fighting their way to Baghdad using American-made vehicles and weaponry we gave to the Iraqi army during the occupation, while innocent civilians who have already been to hell and back are fleeing their homes for their lives. I cannot imagine how bad life under a lunatic, homicidal dictator like Saddam Hussein was...but something tells me we're not going to be getting a thank you card from the Iraqis anytime soon.
The question on my mind is this: how many decades will the US, Iraq and the world have to pay for the Bush-Cheney Presidency? When will this nightmare end? Sure, Mr. Obama has made mistakes--and Maliki is one of them--but he inherited a house on the brink of total collapse (militarily, economically, politically, structurally) and one honest, hard working guy with a hammer and a few nails can only do so much to keep the walls up. The Iraqi people, the American people, and the thousands of American soldiers who served with honor and valor deserve better. But, sadly, there is no path forward to make that happen.
And, it turns out, there never was.