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Clinton needs to focus on Iraq

The follow-up to President Obama's speech last week in Cairo needs to be led by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, wrote columnist and best-selling author Thomas Friedman. But rather than focusing on the Israeli and Palestinian issue, Friedman said, Clinton needs to "spearhead a sustained effort — along with the U.N., the European Union and Iraq's neighbors — to resolve the lingering disputes between Iraqi factions before we complete our withdrawal. (We'll be out of Iraq's cities by June 30 and the whole country by the close of 2011.) Why? Because if Iraq unravels as we draw down, the Obama team will be blamed, and it will be a huge mess. By contrast, if a decent and stable political order can take hold in Iraq, it could have an extremely positive impact on the future of the Arab world and on America's reputation."