Sunday, June 26, 2005
Now Those Magic Slippers Will Take You Home In Two Seconds
So much for not negotiating with terrorists.
After weeks of delicate negotiation involving a former Iraqi minister and senior tribal leaders, a small group of insurgent commanders apparently came face to face with four American officials seeking to establish a dialogue with the men they regard as their enemies.
The talks on June 3 were followed by a second encounter 10 days later, according to an Iraqi who said that he had attended both meetings. Details provided to The Sunday Times by two Iraqi sources whose groups were involved indicate that further talks are planned in the hope of negotiating an eventual breakthrough that might reduce the violence in Iraq.
Despite months of American military assaults on supposed insurgent bases, General John Abizaid, the regional US commander, admitted to Congress last week that opposition strength was “about the same” as six months ago and that “there’s a lot of work to be done against the insurgency”.
That work now includes secret negotiations with rebel leaders, according to the Iraqi sources.
Washington seems to be gingerly probing for ways of defusing home-grown Iraqi opposition and of isolating the foreign Islamic militants who have flooded into Iraq to wage holy war against America under the command of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq.
The talks appear to represent the first serious effort by Americans and Iraqi insurgents to find common ground since violence intensified in the spring. Earlier informal contacts were reported but produced no perceptible progress.
On one level, this is merely the newest example that everything they do is wrong, and everything they say is a lie. This isn't me being anti-administration; this is demonstrable, documented fact.
This particular situation, however, is cause for a small amount of hope -- not because I believe it will be successful; I don't trust The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Str- er, the Bush administration as far as I can spit while inhaling -- but because this sounds as if they realize that the American people want us the hell out of Iraq, and they're trying to find a way to do it... obviously a way that will make the US look as good as possible, but still.
And anything that gets our troops home and safe as quickly as possible, and gets us out of the horrific mess that Bush built, is potentially A Very Good Thing.