Most of the criticism about the mess in Iraq has been directed at the U.S.-led coalition.
Detractors argue that the violence is a result of the vacuum created by the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. The White House argues that the invasion has given Iraqis the gift of freedom.
Indeed it has. The despotic dictator is now history. And there have been elections, aimed at creating a government representative of all factions. The question is, how have the Iraqis chosen to exercise their newly granted freedom?
Valid criticism of President Bush's foreign policy masks the reality on the ground. A sectarian power play is underway. One that pits Iraqis against Iraqis.
It's time that those Iraqis take some responsibility for their own actions. The bombings of mosques and neighborhoods by one Islamic sect targeting another is not being orchestrated by the United States.
We can question the veracity of the administration when it told the American people why it was necessary to invade Iraq. We can question the post "mission accomplished" strategy. We can argue that it's time to bring the American troops home. But let's not lose sight of the fact that the Americans are not there to kill Iraqis. They are there to protect them as best they can until the Iraqi government can muster enough strength to protect their own.
The enemy of the Iraqis is not the United States. The enemies of the Iraqis are fellow Iraqis.