Reidar Visser has the last word on the impact of the Obama-Biden ticket on Iraq:
On the one hand, there is McCain, who looks set to persevere with the Bush policy of handling Iraq primarily through military power instead of working for a more truly inclusive political system. With its systematic promotion to top positions in the new Iraq of some of the most sectarian, pro-Iranian and unprofessional cliques among Iraq’s 18 million (and mostly Iraqi nationalist) Shiites, this contradictive policy seems so obviously antithetical to long-term American interests that it is really hard to make sense of (except if one does what should be the unthinkable and puts it in the frightening context of a grander plan to eventually force regime change in Iran as well). Democrats appear to be equally ignorant about the survival of Iraqi nationalist sentiment, but they express this in a different policy: acceptance of Iranian influence in Iraq as something natural. This was even written into Obama’s ‘New Strategy for a New World’, released in mid-July. Commenting on Iraq, Obama writes, ‘Iraq is not going to be a perfect place…we are not going to … eliminate every trace of Iranian influence’. He seems unaware that this particular statement may be seen as deeply offensive by many Iraqi Shiites who are proud of their Iraqi identity but fearful of Iran and the pro-Iranian elites that have been empowered by the Bush administration. Their fear is that a new Democratic administration will accord Iran exaggerated influence in Iraq as part of a grand, Dayton-style regional settlement designed as an antidote to the Bush administration’s unilateralist policies.