Was reading this article today and thought I’d bring it here and see what folks think:
Is it a good offer? Should the US/Iraq take it seriously? CAN the US and Iraq take it seriously? What kind of guarentees could or would be useful to ensure the ceasefire remains in effect? 2 years until withdrawl (with a ceasefire, at least by these groups in the meanwhile) seems…well, fair to me. Bush doesn’t seem to be going for it but, well, he’s kind of an idiot. Thoughts?
I wish. Unfortunately, “eleven Sunni insurgent groups” != the insurgency – which is composed of at least half a dozen factions, who have very different ideas of what Iraq’s future should be, and who would almost certainly be fighting each other if they did not have a common enemy in the Coalition forces.
Iraq has a democratically elected government. You want to undercut it by making separate deals with a bunch of terrorists whose word is about as fickle as that of a blushing teenager? The future of US and all other foreign troops in Iraq is a matter to be decided between the Iraq government and the foreign nations. If the terrorists want the forces out, they better run a candidate for the next election.
The only reason they are willing to deal now is because they are losing and they’re backs are up against the wall.
Desperate times call for compromising.
If they were gaining momentum against coalition forces and moving towards their goals I doubt they’d be in the deal-making phase.
Desperate times call for desperate measures.
You prefer hardlined Saddam-type governments who crush any resistance? Or do you realise it is a fledgling government of a war-torn country with alot of shit on its plate atm. Either way your snickering is chilidish.
It goes directly to Rune’s argument, which is that the Coalition forces dealing directly with the insurgents would “undercut” the Iraqi government. No, sir, the Coalition forces are the only ones who can meaningfully deal with the insurgents at the moment.
If the insurgents offering the current deal speak for, say, 95% of the Sunni insurgency, we ought to grab this deal and run. We may not see a better one; hell, we may not see another deal at all.
We’d get to be in country for another two presumably peaceful years during which we could continue to train security forces. And for a year or two after that, we could presumably have a decent-sized force over the horizon in Kuwait, ready to fly in if civil war breaks out.
We’d have to give up our ‘permanent bases,’ which will break Dick Cheney’s hard heart, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles.
Two years is also time for the Iraqi people to (hopefully) get used to peace, and become less willing to support those who disrupt peace for sectarian ends.
Yes, there’s a risk that the insurgents will try to start things up again 25 months from now, but regardless of when we leave, there will be such a risk. Might as well take that risk now.
Indeed. We’re still the true sovereigns in Iraq. When asked if we plan to leave, does Bush ever say, “we’ll stay as long as the Iraqi government wants us to, and we’ll leave when they ask us to leave”? No, his words always carry the underlying assumption that we’re the ones who decide how long we get to stay.
IOW, the insurgents can bargain in good faith to stop their attacks now. But they only want to deal with the Coalition, not the government – meaning, they don’t want to promise anything to the government. Leaving them free to fire up the insurgency again after the foreign troops leave.
But then, there’s no way of preventing that, is there?
Of course, they’d presumably be promising to us that they wouldn’t fire up the insurgency once we’re gone. If they’d lie to us, would they not lie to the Iraqi government?
I think they want to deal with us because they know we’re the sheriff in town. The “Iraqi government” can’t order us out, but we can agree to leave. The insurgents want “Compensation for Iraqis killed by U.S. and government forces and reimbursement for property damage.” We’ve got money for that; the Iraqi government doesn’t.
And I can also see them saying, “if we reach a deal with Maliki, we’ll then have to start all over in negotiating a deal with the Americans.” They probably want to skip Step 1, and who can blame them?
:rolleyes: A government that can’t govern is no government, Ryan. You were flat wrong on this point – repeatedly! – in the thread on the Khalilzad Cable and you don’t appear to have learned any better yet.