Most Americans find the conflict in Iraq between Sunni and Shia hard to understand. We also found it hard to understand how ethnic conflict in Rwanda or the former Yugoslavia spiraled out of control and ended in bloody conflicts. We don’t understand it, but we feel superior when we see it.
In fact President Obama lectured the government of Iraq, telling them that "Iraqi leaders must rise above their differences and come together around a political plan for Iraq’s future. Shia, Sunni, Kurds — all Iraqis — must have confidence that they can advance their interests and aspirations through the political process rather than through violence."
To which Speaker Boehner immediately responded by telling reporters that the Iraq crisis amounted to a broader foreign policy failure by the administration.
Our divisions have not yet resulted in widespread bloodshed, but they have produced stalemate, gridlock, and an inability to work together and find middle-ground policies that will allow us to address the economic and problems we face as a nation. Maybe we should start to listen to the lectures we give others.
Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.