Max Boot offers us more lessons from Vietnam, including this one:
In the early 1960s, American officials were frustrated with
Ngo Dinh Diem, and in 1963 the Kennedy administration sanctioned a coup against
him, in the hope of installing more effective leadership in Saigon. The result
was the opposite: a succession of weak leaders who spent most of their time
plotting to stay in power. In retrospect it's obvious that, for all his faults,
we should have stuck with Diem.
Today we should stick with Mr. Maliki,
imperfect as he is. He took office little more than a year ago after his
predecessor, Ibraham al Jaffari, was forced out by American pressure for being
ineffectual. The fact that we are bemoaning the same shortcomings in both
Messrs. Jaffari and Maliki suggests that the problems are not merely personal
but institutional. The Iraqi constitution, written at American instigation,
gives little power to the prime minister. The understandable desire was to ward
off another dictator, but we shouldn't now be complaining that the prime
minister isn't able to exercise as much authority as we would like.
I agree, and might I add the Iraq Prime Minister is no less "beholden to religious and sectarian leaders" as declared recently by Hillary Clinton, than the rest of Washington is to lobbyists and other special interests groups.