It was the later strategy of the Bush team (and those of us who supported that strategy) for U.S. troop, diplomatic and economic presences to remain as long as needed at a high enough level to restrain the Shiite government from its natural tendency to abuse the Sunnis and push Sunnis to participate in government.

To the contrary, it was always the position of the anti-war advocates that only if U.S. troops left promptly could the Iraqis be forced to work together.

The Bush theory having been proved successful, we are about to test whether the alternative theory also can work. Will the Shiites and Sunnis (and Kurds) peaceably rise to the occasion or fall back into mass sectarian murder and civil war?