We are approaching a critical time for our country on Iraq with all the upcoming reports on Iraq due in September. And we have already seen some clear mistakes by our leaders on this subject and lets hope we dont see much more. Top American politicians have either directly or indirectly stated Prime Minister Maliki should go, he hasnt succeeded in securing passage of the critically important political reconciliation legislation so he should be removed and someone else should be put in to try anew. This is wrong for several reasons. First, if you look at the details of the efforts Prime Minister Maliki has made he has made a great effort to pass this legislation, his staff has tried to work with leadership of the different sects to draft legislation, his cabinet has made proposals and he has tried to get the parliament to act; Maliki isnt the problem, the problem is that the leadership of the major sects in Iraq wont make the needed concessions to pass the legislation. Secondly, a significant hurdle in passing reconciliation legislation is that many of the different factions in Iraq think the American government is behind the content of these pieces of legislation and they believe the Americans will sacrifice the Iraqi peoples interest for the benefit of the American peoples interest, and this call for the Prime Ministers removal just reinforces these beliefs. Thirdly, like all peoples, the Iraqi people dont want foreign governments interfering in internal political matters of Iraq, they consider such interference violations of the Iraqi peoples sovereignty; and these remove Maliki actions by U.S. politicians are viewed by Iraqis as clear interference. Unfortunately, knowing U.S. politicians, this could be just the tip of the iceberg in regard to interference in Iraqs internal politics. You could begin to hear American politicians call for replacing Iraqs cabinet and/or parliament. There could be calls for new popular elections in Iraq. American politicians could call for splitting up the country of Iraq, move all the Iraqis of a particular sect into the same partition section of Iraq with the hope this would stem the violence. One could come-up with a multitude of structural changes in Iraq American politicians could come up with to fix Iraq. The bottom line is that this is all counter-productive; none of these ideas will be implemented, it is wrong and it violates the Iraqi peoples sovereignty. All American politicians need to remember not only are the Iraqi people watching what the U.S. government does over the next sixty days with Iraq but the whole world especially the Arab world is watching. Are the Americans going to behave like their often seen bad reputation where they are arrogant and just want to impose their will in another country or are they going to behave like a diplomatically smart nation that understands and respects the rights of foreign peoples. The political reconciliation legislation for Iraq has not been passed even though the U.S., coalition forces and many Iraqis have made heroic efforts to improve the security situation in Iraq to provide the climate for such reconciliation agreements. And there is a critically important lesson for Americas leader to gain from this reality. This lesson is no one can predict, estimate or the like when Iraqi leaders will in fact make these reconciliation agreements even though they are critically important to the security situation in Iraq because such agreements are needed to remove the motives on why many of the Iraqi militants fight; it may take three months to pass reconciliation legislation or it may take fifteen years to pass such legislation, no one can tell. The second part of the lesson is that the U.S. government has to produce an exit strategy for removing U.S. troops from Iraq that does not have any reliance on the reconciliation legislation being passed. To do anything less would make the American people and the American military in Iraq hostages to the political infighting of Iraqi politicians with their excessive sectarian loyalties, power grabbing, personal agendas, etc., the duty of members of Congress to their constituents mandates they not allow this dependency occur. A brief aside note, it should be extremely disappointing to people of good will throughout the world when they reflect on the poor commitment to the institution of democracy displayed by many Iraqi leaders. When political leaders in many developed democracies lose on passage of a piece of legislation, they say we will bring the legislation back again some time in the future and in future elections we will work to get people elected to pass this good legislation. Many Iraqi politicians as we have seen when they lose on passage of a piece of legislation they fold up their tent and go home so to speak; they boycott parliament, their cabinet members refuse to attend cabinet meetings, their appointees to ministry leadership positions resign. This throwing in the towel by Iraqi politicians just because they dont get what they want on certain things has to change because it deprives the Iraqi people of their natural rights to a representative form of government because this throwing in the towel breaks down the government system and this abandonment of the system will likely result in a very stymied growth at best for the country of Iraq. Iraqi politicians have to keep in mind that legislation is not carved in stone if is not perfect initially it can be made so over time with future parliaments actions. In this same vein, sect is of super importance today in Iraq it shapes almost everything in Iraqi politics; but probably one-hundred years from now it wont, probably one-hundred years from now Iraqis of different sects will trust one another much more than Iraqis of different sects do today. If Iraqi politicians cant agree on legislation fairly dealing with Iraqs natural resources that shouldnt mean they cant work together in parliament on how to get all Iraqis electricity or work together in parliament how to stop corruption so foreign business can invest in Iraq and create jobs for Iraqis, etc.. There is another supplemental Iraq War funding bill that will be needed to be passed soon and will probably be presented to Congress by October 1, 2007. The White House got a pass on the last supplemental Iraq War funding bill passed earlier this year, there will be no more such passes for the White House. For this supplemental to pass there will have to be guarantees to the American people that the strategy for Iraq will be changed that there is some type of exit strategy for Iraq in place including a time table for large-scale reduction of U.S. armed forces in Iraq. Frankly, I think most of the American people would like to see from the Iraq process that will take place in Washington over the next two months a date certain to be determined when the U.S. forces will hand over security tasks to Iraqi forces throughout Iraq, weve been hearing now for roughly three years that one day Iraq forces will be able to take over security tasks, how about announcing when that one day will be. The American government needs to take a page out of the British governments book, that is the book they used for the turning over security in the Basra area; they set a schedule when they are going to turn over security to the Iraqi forces they announce it to the Iraqi people and they implement it and they dont lose resolve even though significant violence continues unabated. The Iraq campaign has had many stages, the current stage is the surge strategy stage and mid-September has been called the time to evaluate this surge strategy, and even if you call the surge strategy a magnificent success or a definite failure at this time I think it is clear to the majority of the Americans that there is only one more stage left in the Iraq campaign and that is the exit strategy stage. Now the only thing the Congress and the White House have to do is draft that strategy and implement it.