My military reader in Iraq (who will remain anonymous) offers some more detailed independent evidence to back up his view that Sunni-Shia reconciliation is happening, and that partition or withdrawal would be mistaken:
Here are some independent sources you can consult if needed regarding Sunni-Shia cooperation. You can find all of these in the public domain (although to get the full import of what is going on it would help a great deal if you spoke Arabic or could have a reliable translator translate it).
- In May 2007, Sahawa al-Iraq (the Sunni militia which defeated AQI in Anbar) met with the Sadr Trend (Maqtada al-Sadr's guys). It was a big meeting which received widespread publicity.
- In Oct 2007, Sahawa al-Iraq had several major and well publicized meetings (in Anbar) with the ISCI/Badr to discuss cooperation between them.
- Also in Oct 2007, Sahawa al-Iraq had several major and well publicized meetings (againg in Anbar) with the Shia Karbala Sheikhs to discuss cooperation between them.
None of these meetings were facilitated by Coalition Forces. They did it themselves.
- The bitter and damn near universal condemnation by Sunnis in the Iraqi press and official government statements late last year when the US Congress passed their bill in favor of some kind of Iraqi partition. The reaction on the Iraqi street was even more negative (probably because the average Iraqi didn't really understand what the US Congress had done or what it meant- they just heard the US was going to partition Iraq).
- Neither the Shia Arabs, Sunni Arabs nor Sunni Kurds have a majority in the Iraqi Council of Representatives and hence cannot get any legislation passed by themselves. Every piece of legislation passed requires a non-sectarian, non-ethnic voting block to get the required votes. Get an English translation of the legislation passed into law in the past year and remember that simple fact- it would open some eyes to what is really happening here. Incidentally, I confidently predict that the Iraqis will find an acceptable compromise on every piece of major legislation still in the works.