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“Unfortunately, it’s not as binary as Shiite-Sunni. I wish it was, but it is not,” Mr. Faily said.

He acknowledged that, from Washington, the political divisions in Baghdad may appear disastrous when they are in fact progressing through the difficult process of creating a plural democracy in wake of dictatorship.

He called on U.S. leaders from both sides of the political aisle, and particularly on Capitol Hill in Washington, to make more of an effort to understand the complexities of Iraqi political society. “U.S. congressmen have to have better understanding of the politics, and not look at Iraq in a binary way as Sunni-Shiite-Kurd,” he said. “It won’t work. I’m a Kurd and a Shiite. Where does that put me in this paradigm?”