Bottoms Up!

It looks like the Bush/Petraeus plan to compensate for the failure of the surge to accomplish its goal by aiming instead for "bottom-up reconciliation" is running into the wee hurdle that "bottom-up reconciliation" isn't a kind of reconciliation at all and the Shiite-dominated government doesn't want to incorporate American-trained anti-government Sunni insurgents into its security forces.

What a surprise! There's a reason, after all, why national reconciliation was postulated as the surge's goal -- absent reconciliation, there's nothing useful we can do. Unfortunately, when the surge failed to accomplish its purpose, instead of abandoning the strategy we abandoned the goal in favor of this nonsensical one.

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Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

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