Commentary: Does Iraq war resonate with U.S. citizens?

The Fresno BeeApril 19, 2010 

Six years ago, the conventional wisdom was that Ayad Allawi, then prime minister of the appointed Iraqi Interim Government, was a puppet of the United States.

Last month, though, the Allawi-led Iraqiya alliance won, by a narrow margin, more parliamentary seats than any other coalition in national elections — and he may become the country's next prime minister.

The secular Allawi successfully campaigned on the message of curbing religious interference in government — countering the often-argued charge that the U.S. has created a radical Islamic republic in Iraq.

Indeed, as we look back at our years in Iraq, almost all of what once passed for conventional wisdom has been proven wrong.

Yes, there is still terrorist violence in Iraq — especially recently as the leadership of the country's next government remains in doubt. And, yes, there are still around 130,000 American soldiers in Iraq. But in the first three months of 2010, the number of American soldiers killed in Iraq was about equal to the number of murders in Fresno.

Meanwhile, Iraq's democracy has for some time now proven itself independent from the U.S. — and that old anti-war accusations that we entered the war to control Iraqi oil were false.

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