We commend to gentle readers the blog by Iraqis for the world, Iraq the Model, and note in particular a recent post on the meeting of Iraqi clerics of both Sunni and Shiite persuasions in Mecca. What the courageous and insightful Iraqi blogger notes is that these leaders went all the way to the holy city to sign an accord that affirmed that murder is wrong.
The absence of effective leadership on the part of Iraq's ostensible leaders is perhaps the most obviously underreported problem in the country presently. It's like India without Gandhi or South Africa without Mandela, or the United States without Lincoln, for that matter. All were huge messes,* but imagine how much huger the messes would have been without those remarkable, albeit flawed, individuals to command loyalty, restrain impulses, and compel rational and charitable responses to situations of disagreement among potentially warring factions.
*We're not familiar with the statistics on South Africa, but we know that the rate of mortality in the American Civil War and the Indian struggle for independence and subsequent partition were significantly higher than what we've seen in Iraq.