Maliki: The David Brooks Strategy

A reader recalls a two-year-old column by David Brooks which seemed to presage the kind of move Maliki may now be making. Money quote:

Now, looking ahead, we face another irony. To earn their own freedom, the Iraqis need a victory. And since it is too late for the Iraqis to have a victory over Saddam, it is imperative that they have a victory over us. If the future textbooks of a free Iraq get written, the toppling of Saddam will be vaguely mentioned in one clause in one sentence. But the heroic Iraqi resistance against the American occupation will be lavishly described, page after page. For us to succeed in Iraq, we have to lose.

That means the good Iraqis, the ones who support democracy, have to have a forum in which they can defy us. If the insurgents are the only anti-Americans, then there will always be a soft spot for them in the hearts of Iraqi patriots.

Prescient and smart, as David often is. My hope is that this is beginning to happen. And that Maliki is, when all is said and done, one of the "good Iraqis."