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James Hider at The Times is reporting that despite the White House's "no change" position after the weekend's high-level policy "discussion," that there is indeed a change in the works. Hider writes:
"AMERICAN forces are negotiating an amnesty with Sunni insurgents in Iraq to try to defuse the nascent civil war and pave the way for disarmament of Shia militias...."
If Hider's report is correct, then I imagine BushCo will be working on how to square negotiating with the insurgents with their prior swagger talk about not negotiating with terrorists ("We do not negotiate with terrorists. We put them out of business."). I suppose we will see a careful redefinition of the pesky term "terrorist," up to now so useful to this administration.

This may be a broadened version of the amnesty plan floated by P.M. al-Maliki back in June, but as Hider reports it, there seems to be a new willingness by US negotiators to cut a deal with insurgents:
Salman al-Jumeili, a deputy from the main Sunni bloc, Twafoq, said that the amnesty reports had caught Sunni politicians by surprise. "I'm betting this must be part of a dialogue between the resistance and the Americans," he said. The plan -- still officially under wraps -- would be to isolate Iraqi guerrillas from al-Qaeda by offering an amnesty and a date for a US withdrawal, and to use the resistance's highly sophisticated intelligence network to stamp out foreign Islamist fighters and criminal gangs.
As Hider reports, the situation on the ground isn't promising for such a deal:
Mr Shabander [an MP from the secular Iraqiya bloc] said that some of the main Shia parties were reluctant because the sectarian conflict bolstered their agenda for an autonomous Shia region in the oil-rich south. Armed al-Qaeda militants paraded through city centres at the weekend, proving that they are far from being isolated from the community.

Originally posted to genespleen on Sun Oct 22, 2006 at 07:23 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Correct... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    groggy, strengthof10kmen, Ckntfld

    They want to disarm the Shia militias in time for the "oil agreement" that is due to be signed in December.  As soon as the Shia's and the Sunni's discover what is in that agreement, the S#$% is going to hit the fan.

    I will try to find the article about this issue.  The reason the Republicans are calling for the government to hurry up and stand up is because the clock is ticking on this agreement for the majority of their oil to be signed in December.

    We are at the moment when our lives must be placed on the line if our nation is to survive its own folly. -Martin Luther King.

    by Eyes Wide Open on Sun Oct 22, 2006 at 07:27:45 PM PDT

    •  Please do (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ckntfld

      Bush is undoubtedly sweating having the Dems in charge of congress after that escalation.

      Who needs information when we're living in constant fear? -- Roger Waters, "Radio Kaos," Track 2

      by workingmom OH on Sun Oct 22, 2006 at 07:32:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  right. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      freepress4all

      Here are a couple of links which may flesh out these IMF and World Bank shenanigans...and let's see: who's running the IMF these days??

      "Further Steps toward Long-Term Oil Contracts": http://www.globalpolicy.org/...

      "Operation Corporate Freedom: The IMF and World Bank in Iraq": http://www.50years.org/...

      •  Now We Know Why Wolfowitz Bailed Out (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        groggy

        That scum bag had to get his slimy ass over to the World Bank in time to get things in place to raid Iraq's oil reserves.    

        Just when you think they cannot get any more devious, someone peels back one more layer of the onion.  

        Rape, pillage, and plunder.  That's all those bastards have on their minds.  

        •  How easy is it going to be to get that oil (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          musing graze, groggy

          If Iraq is (literally) going up in flames?

          While you might be able to secure some oil fields - esp those under Kurdish control, how are you going to get the oil out?

          Turkey ain't gonna be too happy about helping out the Kurds in any way shape or form.....

          And most of the pipelines going to the gulf.....lots of luck patrolling all of them.....  

          Hell, we can't get oil produced on a regular basis NOW.....

  •  Casts a new light on Frist's comments... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    groggy, Ckntfld

    ... where Frist seemed to propose the same kind of approach in Afghanistan (where it doesn't seem it would make any sense -- the insurgents and the religious crazies are one and the same there).  He must have gotten his briefings mixed up.

    The comments by the "senior state department official" do look like prefacing some new spin and/or trial-balloon message-testing...

    Maybe this is the much anticipated October Surprise -- it does seem to emanate from the same general realm of shadow diplomacy as the original October Surprise.

    The idea could be to give Republican voters cover to vote for the same old schmucks -- instead of libruls -- under the premise that "Bush has already gotten the message" about Iraq...

    The thing is: what makes anyone think in this day and age that the initiative described would plausibly work?

    Anybody seen my owl?

    by Minerva on Sun Oct 22, 2006 at 07:32:36 PM PDT

    •  balloon? (0+ / 0-)

      I had a sense when Frist was making those comments that maybe there was a sort of "trial balloon" effect in operation...that Frist and the "sideline" issue of Afghanistan was being used to test the waters for new policy U-turns in Irag.

    •  "Work" == "Win Upcoming Election" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ckntfld

      All sorts of Loch Ness monsters and perpetual motion machine plans have worked for them.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sun Oct 22, 2006 at 07:45:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  genespleen, please edit this diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    musing graze, decafdyke

    No flames, here, I promise.  But please. Edit the diary to post a paragraph or two from the source you cite, so people can get a clue about what your diary is really about.  It's obvious that the commenters who came before me know what you mean, and that's all good.  But for those of us who don't, and especially for those of us with slow dialup ...do us a favor and extend your diary below the jump. I'm all for the linky goodness, Lord knows.  But this is all vegetables, no meat.  Veggies are good for you.  But I want dinner.

    Left. Because it's right.

    by 4thepeople on Sun Oct 22, 2006 at 07:50:00 PM PDT

    •  i second what 4thepeople says about this diary (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      musing graze, 4thepeople

      except that imho you can make dinner of many forms of protein besides meat :)

      www.beyondmarriage.org

      by decafdyke on Sun Oct 22, 2006 at 07:58:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thirded (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      4thepeople

      Big story! Tiny diary!

      The title of the article from the Times (U.K.) is US offers amnesty in secret talks.

      AMERICAN forces are negotiating an amnesty with Sunni insurgents in Iraq to try to defuse the nascent civil war and pave the way for disarmament of Shia militias, The Times has learnt.

      The plan — still officially under wraps — would be to isolate Iraqi guerrillas from al-Qaeda by offering an amnesty and a date for a US withdrawal, and to use the resistance’s highly sophisticated intelligence network to stamp out foreign Islamist fighters and criminal gangs.

      But huge obstacles remain. Mr Shabander said that some of the main Shia parties were reluctant because the sectarian conflict bolstered their agenda for an autonomous Shia region in the oil-rich south. Armed al-Qaeda militants paraded through city centres at the weekend, proving that they are far from being isolated from the community.

      •  Thanks, musing graze ... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        musing graze

        And in my comment to you, genespleen, I should have made it clear that I thought you made a good catch in finding this important story.  Please -- keep track of this story, and do a follow up! Let's see if we can't give this story 'legs!'

        Left. Because it's right.

        by 4thepeople on Sun Oct 22, 2006 at 09:21:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thank you all (0+ / 0-)

          I have done some editing to include more of the story, but I did not introduce the Wolfowitz angle, since that was really Eyes Wide Open's insight into this.

          Apologies for the amateurish (but we're all amateurs, eh?) quality of the initial entry.  This is only my second diary, and I'm having trouble with some of the formatting.  For example, I can't get hotlinks to stories to display correctly.  

          Nor does setting off text with an asterisk give bold text.  Alas.

  •  In the context of the Blair diaries (0+ / 0-)

    about what the Brits will tell the Iraqis tomorrow -- you've got a year, and then we're out -- I think that the Bushies have to do this.

    Without the Brits, all that's left of the much-vaunted "coalition" is a handful of troops from other countries -- and, of course, giving some of our National Guard yet another callup.  Some have been back there three times already -- and some are giving up their Guard commissions rather than face these continual callups.

    "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

    by Cream City on Sun Oct 22, 2006 at 09:21:28 PM PDT

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