Former defense and finance minister in Iraq, Mr Ali Allawi, gave a valuable account of the current political situation in Iraq on last night's Lateline. According to Allawi the majority of parliamentarians - and probably most citizens* - would quietly back Obama's policy to withdraw troops from Iraq in 18 months. At the same time the government feels a debt of gratitude to George Bush - if only because many owe their positions to the US intervention. Of course Bush too has noew stated a commitment to withdraw although there is no specific timetable. The reasons for the improved security situation in Iraq - extra oil money driving a more prosperous economy, the decline in the Sunni Arab insurgency, the defeat of al-Qaeda and - paradoxically but unquestionably - the success of the recent surge.
Critics of the US effort in Iraq (including Obama's criticism of the ineffectuality of the 'surge') have been proven completely wrong.
The transcript is short and very worth reading.
* Not the Kurds and some Sunni who, despite their public opposition, fear the consequences of a US withdrawal.