With all his vast experience, Thomas L. Friedman (NYTimes economist) has now decided that Condi Rice should put all of her powers of persuasion into Iraq vs the Israeli/Palestinian situation.

It’s clear that the surge by U.S. troops has really dampened violence in Iraq. So don’t we now need a surge in diplomacy to finish the job?

First – nice of him to admit that the surge is working somewhat.
Second – what inside scoop does he have that says now, right now is the time that should be spent creating a govt that looks “normal”, when “accommodation without reconciliation” seems to be working right now?
Third – he suggests there is no good news until Iraqi’s start to return home. Guess what Mr. Friedman? Iraqi’s are returning home.

My Iraq crystal ball stopped working a long time ago. I’m taking this one step at a time.

Right now what is indisputable is that we are seeing the first crack in years in a wall of pessimism that has been the Iraq story. It is only a crack, but it creates new possibilities. It would be reckless to ignore or exaggerate.

Is the “first crack” the time to step in and start setting diplomatic parameters? I wouldn’t think so. Bush/Rice don’t seem to think so, I wonder how his expertise in economics makes him think differently.

Other stories:
Centcom tells of a new neighborhood watch type program started. Essentially local citizens are paid to keep watch. IF something happens (ie, and IED goes off) then the total payment for that sector is reduced. Heh – alQaeda is incentivizing people with cash, surely the Iraqis can too!

Ralph Peters shares his thoughts on what has gone right in Iraq.

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