From today's Washington Post:
"BAGHDAD, July 4 -- Several senior clerics of Iraq's disaffected Sunni Muslim minority will soon issue a decree calling on followers of the faith to vote in upcoming elections and help write a new constitution, a prominent Sunni leader said Monday. The step could draw Sunni Arabs away from the insurgency and into a political process they have steadfastly rejected."
I hope this takes hold, because a Sunni commitment to establishing a stable Iraqi government is, I believe, the only way to achieve a peaceful conclusion to the insurgency in that country. A military solution seems impossible. The mighty US military is unable to defeat the insurgents. The notion that an Iraqi force could succeed at such a task is absurd.
The key to ending the insurgency is for the Iraqi insurgents to decide that participating in their own governmental process is a superior course of action to the never-ending environment of violence and chaos that they have now. At that point, a united Iraq would have the strength to repel the foreign insurgents pouring across its borders.
The tricky part: how much of this Sunni cooperation will hinge on US forces leaving Iraq in a timely manner? Will the neo-cons in the administration balk at abandoning their dream of a permanent military base of operations in the heart of the Middle East?
If you haven't seen it yet, read this 2004 article from The Christian Science Monitor on "enduring bases" in Iraq.