On this week's episode of "Conversations with Nicholas Kralev," the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Stephen Beecroft, talks about the challenges for U.S. diplomacy in the country amid continuing violence and political dysfunction.
As I have been arguing since the spring parliamentary elections, however, that contest's winner -- Iyad Allawi -- is the safest bet for US efforts to stabilize Iraq, a bet that has only become safer since the elections.
The emerging trend of the Iraqi vote suggests moderation and compromise at all levels. But, in spite of some unexpected results, the big issue remains the ethnic and confessional partitioning of the country.
Initial analysis of the Iraqi elections has been confined to the over-simplistic dichotomy of failure or success. However, there is another direction that Iraqi politics might take -- and for that we should be looking at Beirut in order to understand Baghdad.
In the case of Ahmed Chalabi, we saw an unelected power broker, not even a U.S. citizen, exerting enormous influence over our decision to go to war. That he's now said to be influenced by Iran comes as no surprise.