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David Petraeus
Iraq premier-designate has his work cut out for him
Iraq premier-designate has his work cut out for him

Early in 2007, with Iraq embroiled in sectarian violence, American diplomats in Baghdad tried to persuade a key Shiite Muslim lawmaker to support the easing of a ban on the Sunni Arab-dominated Baath Party. At a meeting at the U.S. Embassy, the lawmaker, Haider Abadi, was noncommittal, saying that changes to the laws forbidding political activity by Saddam Hussein's old party would be a tough sell with Shiites. But Abadi, a British-educated engineer, also expressed hope that the rival sects would find common ground in opposition to Sunni-led Al Qaeda extremists. Sunni lawmakers "are looking for allies," Abadi said, according to a State Department dispatch obtained by the...

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