Part of the challenge — and I’ve said this directly to Prime Minister Maliki, and Vice President Biden has said this in his very frequent interactions with the Iraqi government — is that the politics of Shia and Sunni inside of Iraq, as well as the Kurds, is either going to be a help in dealing with this jihadist situation or it’s going to be a hindrance. And frankly, over the last several years, we have not seen the kind of trust and cooperation develop between moderate Sunni and Shia leaders inside of Iraq, and that accounts in part for some of the — the — the weakness of the state, and that then carries over into their military capacity.
So I think it’s fair to say that, in our consultations with the Iraqis, there will be some short-term, immediate things that need to be done militarily.
And you know, our national security team is looking at all the options. But this should be also a wake-up call for the Iraqi government. There has to be a political component to this so that Sunni and Shia who care about building a functioning state that can bring about security and prosperity to all people inside of Iraq come together and work diligently against these extremists. And that is going to require concessions on the part of both Shia and Sunni that we haven’t seen so far.
I think he just said that the majority government needs to make concessions in order to end the violence perpetrated by the minority — because the minority feels so excluded from the government that it feels the need to resort to insurrection.
Wouldn’t it be interesting to see this logic applied to American politics?
I am not saying that it is morally justified for fiscal conservatives to rebel against the U.S. government.
But I think Barack Obama just did.