Despite intense U.S. pressure, Iraqi leaders failed Sunday to resolve differences over how to govern the oil-rich city of Kirkuk — a dispute that is blocking provincial elections and stoking tension in the volatile north.Yup. That's what I've been saying. They make enough progress for us to talk about it back here in the press, then everything falls apart before they actually pass the thing. This allows the "we are winning in Iraq" storyline to remain alive.
Also, this is further evidence that some real pressure on the Iraqis is necessary to get this type of political reconciliation to take place. Currently, with the open-ended Bush-McCain policy, they know that all the "intense U.S. pressure" imaginable wont matter in the real world. The leaders can dawdle all they like because they know the American military will be there to keep them alive. Once you start putting hard deadlines on withdrawal, however, it becomes clear very quickly that they need to make their fellow Iraqis stop killing each other, lest the rulers themselves fall under the knife.
Once again, Obama was right.