Monday, June 26, 2006

Only the Beginning

Mohammed at Iraq the Model (ITM) reports that seven insurgent groups have expressed willingness to negotiate an end to the fighting. It's a start. But just a start.

Seven militant groups announced their desire to join the political process in accordance with the reconciliation project and said they were ready to enter a truce and stop the violence. MP Hassan al-Sinaid-whose close to PM Maliki-said third parties conveyed the message of the seven groups confirming that they were not involved in Iraqi bloodshed suggesting they're eligible to benefit from the initiative. Al-Sinaid said it was possible that Maliki would meet representatives of these seven groups either directly or indirectly, because he's concerned about the success of the initiative and is keen to gather support for it. Al-Sinaid adds "al-Maliki believes in political measures now, and not only in military ones".

Mohammed has no illusions about it all being smooth sailing from here.

So far, everybody in Iraq feels good about Maliki's plan and expressed their hopes for it to meet success and ease the suffering of the Iraqi people; everybody except for the Sadrists and the association of Muslim scholars who both criticized the plan and said it wasn't acceptable and expected it to fail. The question is do they are expecting it to fail only because they think it is not framed in a workable way or because they wish for it to fail? I'm afraid the latter is the likely answer. Oh, and did I forget to mention the BBC?

ITM's reference to the BBC refers to an article talking down any prospects of success for Maliki's initiative.

The BBC's Jim Muir in Baghdad says there are concerns that Mr Maliki's plan will not work as it does not seek reconciliation with those at the heart of the insurgency - the radical Islamists, many of them foreigners, who want Iraq to be the centre of a new Islamic empire.

But Maliki -- as ITM's post strongly suggests knows that the hardest core is unlikely to hop aboard just yet. Therefore he is probably working with the seven groups he is most likely to convince to lay down arms. The BBC will probably note that the initial intake will consist of groups peripheral to the real fighting, the weaker insurgent groups, the half-hearted Jihadis, and they will be right. However, Maliki is probably trying to get momentum going and the only way to do that is to work on the weakest links of the insurgency first.


Blogger Radcliffe said...


Can you please talk about amnesty (for whomever Malaki decides in Iraq) versus previous forgivness for fighters in war? Isn't the distinction between a possible amnesty for some people who have killed Americans and Iraqis -- if this is really the proposal -- and between Germans, Japanese, Confederates and Loyalists of yore that these people were part of states that were recognized or at least treated as equal in the species of the world, and not largely autonomus beings who decide to make war on their own -- each man his own state so to speak, declairing his own war?

Great blog.

6/26/2006 06:07:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

U.S. Lawmakers Denounce Iraq Amnesty Plan:

Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., said if there is to be peace in Iraq, al-Maliki must find a formula for moving forward that is acceptable to all. "I'm hopeful that one of elements of the formula that he presents to the Sunnis is not amnesty because that is going to run into solid opposition, obviously, in the United States," Lugar, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told CBS' "Face the Nation."

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., urged President Bush to get a commitment from al-Maliki that there will be no amnesty for anyone who has killed U.S. troops.

U.S. Lawmakers Denunciation

6/26/2006 06:33:00 PM  
Blogger wretchardthecat said...

Amnesty, despite its name, is really a process of choosing the lesser evil. It involves pardoning crimes, thereby leaving many victims without redress, in exchange for terminating the fighting. The way this is mitigated is by creating classes of war criminals, just as the end of World War 2. The worst offenders, or those who have committed certain types of crimes, are ostentatiously punished while the vast majority are given lighter penalties if any.

The very worst kinds of amnesty are those which are granted without a guarantee of corresponding peace. This often happens when former terrorists are absorbed or "regularized" into the armed forces of the new state. To some extent, this probably happened in the postwar European armed forces. In some places, the so-called reconciliation process is no more than eu de cologne thrown over a bunch of killers to make them acceptable again.

The way around this is to maintain control over the battlefield so that amnest is truly accompanied by a de facto surrender. No weaseling out and returning to the battlefield. Therefore the "reconciliation" process, properly understood, will be accompanied by spasms of violence -- it has to be. Beware of those who think that from this point onward it will be all sweetness and light. There will be some of that, but lots of combat too.

6/26/2006 06:35:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The "Catch and Release" system has been a form of the worst types of Amnesty. Just a recycling of combatants, as in LTC Kurilla's case.

His assailant had recieved a form of amnesty, to be sure.

Just that the system is not well known amongst the US public. It is commonplace, though. For terrorists that have bomved US mess halls. Well maybe not "common" but we know it happened at least once.
We also know that over the past three years tens of thousands of detainees have been cycled through the System.
Were all innocent of violence and sworn to support nonviolent political change in the future?
Doubt it.

6/26/2006 07:53:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

New Pat Dollard clip up:

Can't Bust a Nut

6/26/2006 08:22:00 PM  
Blogger hamint said...

In connection with the new dispensation in RSA, the ANC guerilla army was absorbed into the SADF in or about 1994. The various forms of reconciliation that were implemented in SA appear to have worked well (even if jokes at medical society meetings in Calgary are made in Afrikaans). It is interesting that American resistance to reconciliation (or amnesty-lite) in Iraq may prove to be an impediment to the negotiation process. In SA, the aparteid government negotiated for eight + years with the founder of the ANC guerilla army (Nelson Mandella) before the basics of the new dispensation were put into place. The Iraqi process, however, probably depends on the hardihood and patience of the American people, who, when stimulated by the MSM and the political giants of the Democratic Party's left wing, may not have the patience of the SA voters during the late 1980s and early 1990s. The multi-ethic SA voters (where today there are 11 official languages) and people in other countries like Bosnia (where there are at least three diverse religious groups) are ultimately left to forge a modus vivendi with each other. (Or the Swiss and the Belgians before them.) They did not have the luxury of turning off their HDTV's like the Americans are doing and forcing their leaders to consider withdrawing support.

Left up to their own devices, the Iraqi people would have little choice at the end of the day except to work out their own largely constructive solution. Notwithstanding the NYT reports to the contrary, even in Iraq there are limits on the abiity of the insurgents to engage in ethnic cleansing or to force massive movements of the various ethnic groups to separate parts of the country (cf. the movement during the early 1920s of all Greeks from modern day Turkey and all Turks from modern day Greece). The Iraqi people, who have little choice in the matter, will have to learn to live with one another as the South Africans do and even as the Bosnians reportedly are now coming together (after 10 years) to do.

Uniquely, the current involement of the third party American people and their support or withdraw may make or break the situation in Iraq. George Bush may be handing out too many yellow and red cards today and thereby risking continuing domestic support, but the Iraqi people know that America's role as moditor, mediator and referee will be critical to the success and stability of their country.

6/26/2006 08:43:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Raven 42

3rd article down.

6/26/2006 09:46:00 PM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

sam 8:22,


6/26/2006 10:12:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Domestic revolving door for career criminals is a form of amnesty, as is catch and release for illegals, and of course the Senate Immigration Bill.
Mark Steyn:
Bush Lied, People Applied!!!

6/26/2006 10:17:00 PM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

Just an aside from the ass-wipes at Homeland Security spending your tax dollars and doing their job to protect America:

Jun 26, 11:11 PM EDT
Limbaugh Detained at Palm Beach Airport

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Rush Limbaugh was detained for more than three hours Monday at Palm Beach International Airport after authorities said they found a bottle of Viagra in his possession without a prescription.

6/26/2006 10:42:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

What's Behind Iraq's 'Amnesty' Plan:

The "national reconciliation" plan presented over the weekend by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri a-Maliki offered insurgents a scaled-back amnesty proposal, granting indemnity only to "those not proven involved in crimes, terrorist activities and war crimes against humanity." But just what that means is open to interpretation.

Will Iraqis who killed Americans be forgiven in the plan?

It's not clear.

The objective of Maliki's "national unity" policy, strongly backed by U.S. ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, involves trying to draw the Sunnis, including some mainstream insurgent groups, into the political process. (Though the Al-Qaeda in Iraq element grabs much of the media attention, it accounts for no more than about 10% of the insurgency.) U.S. interests both in stabilizing Iraq and in limiting Iranian influence there depend on drawing the majority of the Sunni community into a new national consensus.

Amnesty Plan

6/26/2006 11:05:00 PM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

I guess since we have moved to the amnesty stage someone must have won, lost or declared a truce. I missed that. Sorry that I am one of the un-repentant that does not believe Islam is compatible with democracy. It seemed that since we were attacked by jihadis our response should have been to kill them and their support teams and not get bogged down in grand theories about democracy. To win against militant Islam is possible and desirable. Attempting to make them a democracy is almost guaranteed to turn military acievements into political failures.

Aristotle distinguished six kinds of social structure in three pairs:

A state with only one ruler is either a monarchy or a tyrrany;

A state with several rulers is either an aristocracy or an oligarchy; and

A state in which all rule is either a polity or a democracy.

The Islamic world is first and foremost Islamic. To date the most prevalent model of government has been the first or second Aristotelian model. We have ventured to simultaneously convert two of the worst case Islamic states to a democracy using an undersized military force. That was our stated goal and the goal that will we will be judged against. Had our goal been limited to punishing and destroying our enemies we would have been enjoying a fair measured success. Our sworn enemies would know that to challenge the US can be a costly mistake. We however have foolishly set a goal that permits the jihadis to easily frustrate. Our enemies always can count on the Left to assist them and they are doing so with the the open and tacit support of the traitors at the New York Times and the majority of the MSM.

Let's not kid ourselves. This is no victory. It is a stand down to withdraw. It reeks of 1975 and another bridge too far in American politics.

6/26/2006 11:34:00 PM  
Blogger wretchardthecat said...

I really don't think much of the Time article, which almost backhandedly argues that those who killed Americans should get amnesty. The insurgents will be glad, not reluctant to get amnesty because right now they are trapped in a situation where the numerically superior Shi'as are settling old scores. And the venegeance of Americans, with their fuddy duddy courts and what passes for coercion is as nothing compared to the wrath of a fellow Iraqi.

The secret to survival is getting the Americans to convince the government to be the "referee" as someone put it on this thread and get the shades of vengeance off their backs. Whoever heard of an amnesty in that blood-soaked part of the world? That's an imported word.

6/26/2006 11:36:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

2164th 10:42 PM,
Talk about a contrary indicator:
Even Limbaugh was having trouble staying the course!

6/27/2006 02:42:00 AM  
Blogger Reocon said...

Edward Wong reports from Iraq:

"The groups have made no demands yet, but wanted to express their views to top government officials, said the legislator, Hassan al-Suneid. "There are signals" from "some armed groups to sit at the negotiating table," said Mr. Suneid, who, like the prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, belongs to the Islamic Dawa Party, a conservative Shiite group.

The groups, made up of Iraqi nationalist fighters, have floated their proposal through Sunni Arab negotiators, Mr. Suneid said in a telephone interview. Although he described the groups as armed, he said they "are not implicated in the bloodletting of Iraqis."

Well then, whose blood have they been letting? How disciplined to be armed and yet passive for these past three years. I sense another act is this overlong tragical farce.

6/27/2006 05:57:00 AM  
Blogger goesh said...

Alot of nazi and jap war criminals slid by and that's the way it goes. It took me a long time to respect the NVA and they were good at maiming and murdering our wounded that couldn't get pulled back and they were brutal on civilians too. If I were the ragheads I wouldn't have fought any differently than the way they are. Those wanting to fight our men are doing so and I don't think they are blowing up civilians on purpose but al qaidah is. If this can help draw down on al qaidah and kill them off, then it is a good deal.

6/27/2006 07:19:00 AM  
Blogger exhelodrvr1 said...

"Amnesty" happens all the time in our civil system, as well. It's called plea bargaining, and turning state's evidence.

6/27/2006 07:36:00 AM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

"It's nothing personal. It's just war."

6/27/2006 07:58:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

Luke 9:25 KJV KJV: For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
For example, King David disciplined all his enemies but he did not discipline his own children. Consequently, in time his own seed did what his enemies could not do.

6/27/2006 09:01:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

fyi there is a learning curve in the bible

6/27/2006 09:03:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

It was all a Misunderstanding:
Rush told his Doctor he was concerned about the next ELECTION.

6/27/2006 09:14:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

He reports that many Republicans in Washington don't NEED Viagra:

They just look at themselves in the Mirror.

6/27/2006 10:14:00 AM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...

I agree with some people here who have said that, in a sense, it is too early to talk about amnesty. What I mean is that since the 2003 invasion Iraq has been in a state of war, and therefore combatants on both sides are legally allowed to kill each other. In other words, there is no crime to forgive and therefore no amnesty to grant. As much as it hurts me to say it, my understanding is that members of the Iraqi army have the legal right to shoot at US & UK troops.

However according to the rules of war certain things are forbidden even during war such as attacks on civilians, those who have surrendered, etc. This is why terrorists like Al Qaeda can be punished and why Maliki's so-called amnesty does not apply to those who killed civilians. Also, this is the (possibly false) charge made against US troops sometimes, that they killed a civilian, but no one even accuses them of killing an insurgent because that it totally legal. In other words, let's say that an insurgent group made a video of the US & UK military destroying dozens of Iraqi insurgents in a battle, and turned it over to Amnesty International. The Iraqi government and allied armies would rightfully say, "So what? It's a war zone. We have the legal right to kill insurgents."

My understanding is that if someday in the future the state of war ended and peace was declared, then both sides would need to obey civilian rules. Any violence by either the US/UK or Iraqis would need to be investigated by the Iraqi police, and probably go to court. The only reason for legal violence is usually self defense.

6/27/2006 12:31:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

jp's analysis seems right on the money, to me.

This is from an AP wire story
"... U.S. military spokesman Maj. Gen. William Caldwell said an Iraq-led operation launched nearly two weeks ago to restore security to Baghdad was moving slower than hoped.

"It's going to take some time. We do not see an upward trend," he said. "We ... see a slight decrease but not of the degree we would like to see at this point."

In a boost for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's reconciliation proposal, prominent cleric Ahmed Abdul Ghafour al-Samaraie offered the support of his Sunni Endowment, the state agency responsible for Sunni mosques and shrines.

But he urged the government to give details of the plan and said it should include disbanding armed militias, as well as releasing all prisoners who have not been convicted.

"We bless this initiative," he said. "We see a glimpse of hope out of this plan, but at the same time we are noticing that some people are pushing the armed groups to attack some areas in Baghdad, spreading terror and chaos in the city in order to make this plan a failure." ..."

Those that lay down their weapons and clear the field, all the better for everyone.

The Iraqi do have 300 tons of new ammo for their 77 new T-72's.
If the enemy has no air, armor owns the ground.

6/27/2006 01:06:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

I'm puzzled why any reconciliation should include "the radical Islamists, many of them foreigners," since these interlopers are not Iraqi to begin with and have entered Iraq uninvited in order to wage war against its elected

Can anyone simply declare him or herself a party, or has the BBC
decided that only outsiders hostile to a democratic Iraq are entitled to a seat at the table?

Perhaps the BBC should declare itself a stakeholder in any
reconciliation, since it has encouraged strife in Iraq through sympathetic coverage of the 'insurgency' and demoralization of Western support for the struggle for a free and democratic Iraq.

6/27/2006 01:07:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...


There are, if estimates are correct, so few of these "radical Islamists, many of them foreigners" that they make no difference.

Strategypage wrote that just under 1,000 detainees were taken after mini Z went down. One would assume that the fruit of Z's intel were radical Mohammedans.

Previous estimates were that there were but 2,000 - 2,500 radical Mohammedans in the Insurgent mix.

If Strategypage and the disposition estimates were both correct, the radicals have suffered 50% casualties, since Z's death.
Even in an cell structured asymetric force, that's devastating

6/27/2006 01:21:00 PM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

Whatever version of the plan Maliki implements is not so important as the idea of a plan itself. Maliki will be the first post Saddam leader to have legal power and have set a course for a new Iraq. It coalesces power around him and ingratiates former enemies to him. A previous post ( I regret, I cannot find it) rightly notes that it will also isolate the remaining enemy. This will be helpful in stabalizing Iraq. Hopefully it will be useful in the GWOT. Maybe GWB saw something in Maliki's soul.

6/27/2006 01:22:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

"no difference" is incorrect, as I reread it. Little difference is better.

If the degree of the Wahabbist Mohammedan influence has been underestimated on the Sunni population, the chances for success, without major Institutional bloodshed, will diminish.

Mr Maliki will unleash the ISF, or fail.

6/27/2006 01:28:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Two more weeks, four, fifty-two?

How long can anarchy reign?
Before any "Government" is not?

Monopoly of Force,
as Mao wrote in the little red book
"political power grows out of the barrel of a gun"
He knew how his bread was buttered.

6/27/2006 01:34:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

As was noted when Iran's President wrote Mr Bush, surrender must be offered in the Mohammedan tradition.

Before a War can be justified and begun.

Or did I misunderstand that part?
And how it relates to the "Plan"

6/27/2006 01:39:00 PM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6/27/2006 02:10:00 PM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

Meteorblades, you sound to be a reasonable fellow as our mutual host is thoughtful. It would be welcome to hear your thoughts and comments and disagreements, but you certainly will not find any commentary on this site that will not be surpassed in degree of vitriol by your colleagues on the left. Your quality of argument may carry you further than you think, but more than likely not.

6/27/2006 02:12:00 PM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

FYI meteor, I just re-read griswel 9:10 am and the first part of his post is quite reasonable. The second may be well salted with hyperbole but mild compared to some of the common Democratic comments I hear daily on c-span. Are you an equal opportunity offendee?

6/27/2006 02:22:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

In Europe, Netherlands to be precise
"...Jun 27, 4:23 PM (ET)

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) - It was all a mistake and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Somali-born former lawmaker known for her criticism of fundamentalist Islam, can retain her Dutch citizenship after all. ..."

All a mistake, no harm no foul

Netherlands Reverses Stance on Lawmaker

Amnesty for Ms Ayaan Hirsi Ali as well.

6/27/2006 02:53:00 PM  
Blogger Deuce ☂ said...

From Radio Netherlands:
"The Dutch cabinet has agreed that the former MP of Somali descent Ayaan Hirsi Ali can retain her Dutch citizenship. Last month, Integration Minister Rita Verdonk ruled Ms Hirsi Ali had never held Dutch nationality because she had not given her full name on an application for citizenship. Parliament was furious with the integration minister and gave her six weeks to reconsider her decision. Following an investigation, the minister has now admitted that, under Somali law, the name given by Ms Hirsi Ali was permissible."

You have to love politicians It has an Arlen Spectoresque "not proven under Scottish Law" quality to the decision.

6/27/2006 03:03:00 PM  
Blogger exhelodrvr1 said...

Clearly a significant portion of the Democratic Party is deliberately not assisting the administration in it's prosecution of the war. Whether they actually hope the war will continue, hope that we lose the war, or are just so opposed to the President that they are blind to all else varies (I assume) from person to person within that portion of the party.

6/27/2006 03:35:00 PM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6/27/2006 04:13:00 PM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...

> I'm puzzled why any reconciliation should include "the radical Islamists, many of them foreigners,"

I think any Islamist almost by definition is against democracy, and so wouldn't support the reconciliation plan. al-Zarqawi and Al Qaeda were certainly against elections. By targeting Iraqis (the government) the Islamists don't meet the terms of the peace deal. Most of their groups also brag about killing civilians, which is another "unforgivable sin" under the Malaki plan so that's twice they struck out. Finally the "Shura Council" of Islamist insurgents flat out rejected the plan, so that three strike outs, inning and ball game over for them.

They probably didn't specifically omit the groups from the amnesty offer for those reasons, that they were ineligible and wouldn't accept it anyway.

6/27/2006 04:14:00 PM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...

Speaking of Mao, I don't normally quote Communist dictators but:

Maoist military doctrine likens guerrilla fighters to fish swimming in a sea of peasants, who provide logistical support.


This is the whole point of the Maliki reconciliation plan, and why it may work. The Al Qaeda fish swim in a sea of Sunni "peasants". Many of the Sunnis are not Islamists but are fighting for other reasons. If we can turn the Sunnis in favor of the government, we will dry up the sea and kill Al Qaeda. (As the Sunnis give actionable intelligence to US bombers who take care of them like Zarqawi.)

6/27/2006 04:27:00 PM  
Blogger Herr Wu Wei said...

No amnesty for killers of anyone in Iraq, according to the washington post:

BAGHDAD, June 27 -- Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki vowed Tuesday that no one who has killed Americans or Iraqis would be pardoned under his government's national reconciliation plan.

"The fighter who did not kill anyone will be included in the amnesty, but the fighter who killed someone will not be," Maliki said in his first interview with Western print reporters since he became prime minister last month. "This is an international commitment, an ethical commitment: Whoever kills is not included in amnesty."

Sitting at the head of a polished wood conference table, beneath a framed Koranic verse -- "Consult with others and when you reach a decision, trust in God" -- Maliki spoke for nearly an hour about the need to build up the Iraqi army before U.S. and other foreign forces could withdraw, his desire to disband violent militias and the terms of his two-day-old reconciliation plan.

The question of who should receive amnesty has been fiercely debated, and the issue was not settled with the vague terms first offered on Sunday, when the plan was brought before parliament. Some politicians argue that only a broader amnesty has any real chance of bringing the violent Sunni Arab insurgency into the Iraqi political process in a peaceful way. But Maliki, a Shiite Muslim who heads a government led by Shiite religious parties, said the Iraqi and American families who have lost loved ones in the three-year war would not stand for such pardons.

"We have people who have confessed to killing 10, 20, 50, sometimes 100 Iraqis or Americans," he said. "And I think if a general amnesty was announced, it would have a very negative reaction."

Maliki said lesser offenses, such as minor acts of sabotage or participation in former president Saddam Hussein's Baath Party could be forgiven.

6/27/2006 09:39:00 PM  
Blogger TM Lutas said...

Update: Amnesty for irregular trigger pullers who have killed coalition forces is off the table and three more groups have added their names to the negotiating list. Good news keeps rolling in...

Maliki has kept faith with us. May he continue to do so and may we continue to keep faith with Iraq.

6/28/2006 09:49:00 AM  

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