The Department of Defense has given the war in Iraq a new name.
In the past, you’ll remember, they’ve had problems with names. The original title for the war was Operation Iraqi Liberation, whose unfortunate acronym, OIL, was an either an embarrassment or an exercise in truth-telling.
Now, the Pentagon is calling the next phase of the war, the drawdown, "Operation New Dawn." If you say it fast, it sounds a lot like "Nude Dawn." Which is closer to what it is. It’s set in stone, and long overdue, that the United States gets out of Iraq. I strongly support the pullout, and I believe, if anything, it ought to be accelerated.
But nude it is, because as we leave Iraq, we’re leaving it exposed to Iran. As one Iraqi, a current member of the Iraqi parliament who’s running in the March 7 election, said to me:
"The Iraqis are like a small bird who was born in a small cage. and whose father and grandfather lived in that cage. And the United States came into Iraq and broke that cage, and the small bird cannot fly. And it can easily be eaten by Iran."
His poignant imagery exaggerates Iraq’s vulnerability. It’s time for Iraq to stand on its own two feet and block Iran. We’ll see, on March 7, if the secular parties, the nationalists, the current and former Baathists, the Shia middle class, Sunni tribal leaders, cross-sectarian parties, and all the rest can win enough votes to take the lead, make a deal with the Kurds, and bring in a few Shia religious types who are willing to join what would be an anti-Iran coalition.