We'd hate to see the bad news

Various groups of Iraqis want the U.S. out of Iraq; U.S. military analysts think this bodes well for national reconciliation.

By Alex Koppelman

Published December 19, 2007 11:25PM (EST)

We're not the only ones to notice something of, well, a discordant note in a Washington Post article about Iraq today. Reporter Karen DeYoung leads her story off by writing, "Iraqis of all sectarian and ethnic groups believe that the U.S. military invasion is the primary root of the violent differences among them, and see the departure of 'occupying forces' as the key to national reconciliation, according to focus groups conducted for the U.S. military last month."

Now, it seems to us as if that might be considered a bad sign. But according to DeYoung, that's not how the U.S. military sees it. "That is good news, according to a military analysis of the results. At the very least, analysts optimistically concluded, the findings indicate that Iraqis hold some 'shared beliefs' that may eventually allow them to surmount the divisions that have led to a civil war."

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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