Nationalism Over Sectarianism

Marc Lynch has a sharp article on the Iraqi elections in The National. A taste:

American analysts, who have a difficult time imagining an Iraq without a large-scale US military ­presence, are anxiously scanning the political landscape in search of a reason why the United States cannot possibly withdraw its troops. But they miss the wider picture of an Iraqi public which no longer wants or needs their supposedly stabilising role. Whatever the private feelings of Iraqi leaders – many of whom may well fear for their political obsolescence, if not their physical safety, after American troops depart – the electoral campaign has made clear the strong nationalist current in Iraqi politics. No request for an extension of the US presence or a renegotiation of the agreement dictating troops depart by the end of 2012 is likely to be forthcoming.