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Iraqi government to announce "Peace Plan" on sunday
Posted by: mcq on Friday, June 23, 2006

The Times is reporting that they have seen the plan and it is comprised of 28 points designed to end the Sunni insurgency:
The 28-point package for national reconciliation will offer Iraqi resistance groups inclusion in the political process and an amnesty for their prisoners if they renounce violence and lay down their arms, The Times can reveal.

The Government will promise a finite, UN-approved timeline for the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Iraq; a halt to US operations against insurgent strongholds; an end to human rights violations, including those by coalition troops; and compensation for victims of attacks by terrorists or Iraqi and coalition forces.

It will pledge to take action against Shia militias and death squads. It will also offer to review the process of “de-Baathification” and financial compensation for the thousands of Sunnis who were purged from senior jobs in the Armed Forces and Civil Service after the fall of Saddam Hussein.
The plan is an apparent result of months of secret talks "involving Jalal al-Talabani, the Iraqi President, Zalmay Khalilzad, the US Ambassador, and seven Sunni insurgent groups." The intent is to separate the Sunni insurgent groups from the foreign terrorists. Part of those negotiations included a general amnesty for those who fought "foreign occupation".
Reading directly from the draft package, Mahmoud al-Mashaadani, the Parliament’s Sunni Speaker, told The Times: “There will be a general amnesty to release all the prisoners who were not involved in the shedding of innocent Iraqis’ blood.” Neither the Iraqi Government nor the US Embassy would name the insurgent groups involved in the discussions.

But Mr Talabani said that after the last meeting the groups went away to agree their position. He had since received “a message from a common friend that they are ready to discuss finalising an agreement with the United States and the Iraqi Government”.
Naturally there is resistance to this from some US officials and it certainly isn't hard to understand their point:
“This is very hard for us, particularly at a time when American servicemen are facing prosecution for alleged war crimes — and others are being captured and tortured,” a senior US official said.
But as we mentioned here before, whether we like this or not, this is a necessary step in quelling the insurgency and ensuring the success of the national reconciliation government.

The same "senior US official" quoted above also said:
With 2,500 US soldiers having died in Iraq, to grant an amnesty would be a “huge political football” before the November mid-term elections in the US, he said. But he added: “This is what we did after the Second World War, after the Civil War, after the War of Independence. It may be unpalatable and unsavoury but it is how wars end.”
It is important that we don't let the politics get ahead of the potential for reconciliation and an even quicker end to our involvement in Iraq. Dale covered that quite well here.

The plan also provides a fixed timeline for withdrawal.
The draft marks the first time the Iraqi Government has endorsed a fixed timeline for the withdrawal of coalition forces from Iraq, a key demand of the Sunni insurgency.

“We must agree on a timed schedule to pull out the troops from Iraq, while at the same time building up the Iraqi forces that will guarantee Iraqi security and this must be supported by a United Nations Security Council decision,” the document reads.
Democrats should welcome this, but let's not confuse the difference between the two timelines. One was arbitrary and the other is based on the conditions as seen on the ground by the country in question. One reflects politics and the other reflects an assessment of the real sitution. Of course it is all predicated on the acceptance of the plan by the soon to be named Sunni insurgent groups.

In short form, the offer is this:
THE OFFER

  • A schedule for coalition forces to withdraw
  • General amnesty for prisoners “who have not shed innocent Iraqis’ blood”
  • A halt to “anti-terrorist operations” by coalition forces in insurgent areas
  • A review of the process of de-Baathification and of financial compensation to sacked civil servants from the Saddam regime
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

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It’s always ugly seeing the sausage being made. If that’s what it takes to end things there, leaving Iraq relatively stable and democratic, I can get onboard. But it will be very interesting to see if the "cut and run" crowd suddenly find fault with this.

Seems to me that this can be seen as a bit of a diplomatic coup for our side.

I don’t like the amnesty part, but our soldiers died to help make Iraq free, completing the mission is as good or better an honor for them as revenge would’ve been
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Amnesty was ALWAYS going to be a part of the Iraqi solution. Sooner or later it was going to be necessary to bring some of the insurgents "in from the cold." The offer will split the insurgents and, possibly, inhibit further operations. After all, IF I’m thinking about taking the amnesty do i want to do another car bombing?

Note it says,
General amnesty for prisoners "who have not shed innocent Iraqis’ blood"
That lets a LOT of insurgents out fo the deal. The deal is going apply, it seems, to folks who planted IEDs and sniped troops. Guys who car-bombed markets and Mosques don’t get coverage...

Seems reasonable to me.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Adventures of Chester has a good write-up about the offer, and a caution "My guess is that the agreement is much more detailed and some of these details are incorrect as reported."

Some type of political reconciliation is absolutely neccessary in order to go forward with a three prongs (security/political/economic) of the strategy for victory.
 
Written By: Keith, Indy
URL: http://
General amnesty for prisoners "who have not shed innocent Iraqis’ blood"
Fine, lets give the Haditha Marines and others - whom the NYTImes and the usual suspects on the Left wish to hang the same treatment. Amnesty as long as they "didn’t shed innocent American blood".

And we could tell the Iraqis that we retain custody of foreign Islamoid fanatics caught inside Iraq, unless they wish to try them for mass bombings of Shiites, and we retain custody of any - foreign or Iraqi - that killed US or other infidel civilians.

And maybe we could turn over a certain discrete number of the nastiest, most fanatic and barbarous foreigners & Sunnis known to have killed our troops, killed other Iraqis in Saddam’s day, and are only loosely tied to muslim-whackings during the Insurgency times - to jails run by Shiite or Kurd militias DEEP, DEEP within in Kurdish or Shiite territory to do with as they deem best. Turn ’em over, wash our hands of responsibility of them, tear up the lists of names of the prisoners we hand over, and trust that the Shia and Kurds will give them fair justice. If not, their responsibility, not ours.
A review of the process of de-Baathification and of financial compensation to sacked civil servants from the Saddam regime
Next the complete lack of an adequate postwar plan covering things like keeping order and preventing hundreds of tons of high explosives and weaponry later turned against us from being looted, the "mass dismissal" of savvy Ba’athist civil administrators, police, secret police (the Muqabarat), and experienced military people right into the arms of the Insurgency was the Greatest Bungle. The idiocy of Bremer and the WH and Pentagon neocons assured we would have almost 200,000 fired Sunnis with little to lose in joining in the shooting and IED bombing of Americans. Which they indeed went about. Now we have to pay the Killers 3 years of back wages because the neocons were too arrogant to know that "de-Nazification", "de-Communization" took years of careful review by tens of thousands of civil affairs troops, and individual case by case disposition of all but the worst who could be arrested and held immediately.
 
Written By: C. Ford
URL: http://
A bit much and not entirely true C.Ford,
Next the complete lack of an adequate postwar plan covering things like keeping order and preventing hundreds of tons of high explosives and weaponry later turned against us from being looted,
It wasn’t hundreds of tons it was hundreds of THOUSANDS of tons, scattered across the area of California. How EXACTLY were the Coalition Forces to supposed to secure this ammunition, considering that the IRAQI’s knew of its location(s) but that Coalition forces were IGNORANT of its location?



the "mass dismissal" of savvy Ba’athist civil administrators, police, secret police (the Muqabarat), and experienced military people right into the arms of the Insurgency was the Greatest Bungle.

Well C we COULD have kept them on and what a FINE signal that would ahve been tot he Kurds and Shi’i, "Meet the new boss, the same as the OLD boss." They had to go because mostly they were "savvy" at looting and oppression, not the business of government, as Westerners take it to mean, "Business of government."

the neocons were too arrogant to know that "de-Nazification", "de-Communization" took years of careful review by tens of thousands of civil affairs troops, and individual case by case disposition of all but the worst who could be arrested and held immediately.
Yeah but you know what whilst it took YEARS, the immediate decision in the nazi case WAS for dismissal, too.

 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Actually, I find the hardest parts to swallow to be the timeline for withdrawal and no more CT operations in insurgent areas. If we were talking enough of the insurgent and illegal militias being neutralized, such that Iraq’s future was guaranteed by this, then I’d be all for it.

But I don’t like timelines for withdrawal, or tying our hands, while the future of the Iraqi state is still uncertain.

Timeline - Pro:
Those who only targetted Americans because they thought that would get the Coalition out of their country will have no good reason to attack them again before we leave.
This includes those who are to be released from prison.

Timeline - Con:
Not all of those who targetted Americans did so just to kick us out of Iraq.
Gives the enemy a timeline, too, as Gen. Casey recently pointed out.

Halt Operations - Pro:
Fewer messes that encourage locals to turn on the Coalition and Iraqi government

Halt Operations - Con:
Guaranteed safe areas for anyone who’s still got a bone to pick with the Coalition or Iraqi government. Need a place to store your arms, or just to stay low for a little while? Go to an "insurgent area."

As far as the controversy over releasing those guerrillas from prison, all I have to say is, doesn’t that put a whole bunch of disgruntled people back out on the street at a rather inopportune time, before the Coalition forces have withdrawn and before the Iraqi Security Forces and Police are at needed strength?
 
Written By: OrneryWP
URL: http://
200,000 fired Sunnis? The Iraqi army was largely conscripted Shiites and Kurds. Only the officers tended to be Sunnis. If we turned loose 200,000 former Sunni officers then I guess my assessment of the US military to be a little top-heavy needs another look!

Or C. Fords a little FOS.

On topic, I don’t see any provision for U.S. bases here yet. It would stink to come out of this deal without any basing agreements.
 
Written By: spongeworthy
URL: http://
Well, hold that thought...
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/22/AR2006062201683.html

(free registration required)

Earlier proposals suggested offering pardons to Iraqis who have attacked U.S. troops but not to those who attacked Iraqis, an idea the U.S. Senate strongly denounced. The new plan does not make that distinction, Iraqi officials said.

"It says that the government will issue an amnesty for all those who have not committed crimes against the people of Iraq and the friends of Iraq," said Deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh, an ethnic Kurd from President Jalal Talabani’s Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. "Those who attack U.S. forces are not immune from legal consequences. An attack on Iraqi forces or multinational forces are seen legally . . . as the same thing from the perspective of the government."
h/t: Commenter Wu Wei at Belmont Club
 
Written By: OrneryWP
URL: http://
Spongie - De-Ba’athification covered K-12 and university teachers, civil administrators, secret police, regular police, active duty military officers, ex-military officers doing technical work in ministries like banking and finance, those in the intelligence and diplomatic community.

200,000 gift-wrapped and sent into the arms of the insurgency. Get over your fixation that de-Bathification only displaced a few military officers. The Bremer decision affected 200,0000 in every key sector in Iraq.

==========================================================
Joe - Yeah but you know what whilst it took YEARS, the immediate decision in the nazi case WAS for dismissal, too.

Nonsense. There was no immediate case for dismissal. De-nazification involved locking up the worst right off the bat, executing around 8,000 in 1 to 3 day military tribunal trials in the 1st months, and having the rest of the Nazis continue duties under close Civil Affairs (US,UK, French Sectors) or Party Commissar (USSR) scrutiny until their cases were reviewed and if a trial was warranted. Many were administratively barred from certain jobs but not others, with no trial needed. Many started a "rehab" to get their old positions back after their punishment (work gangs clearing rubble, blowing up ammo stockpiles under US machine gun toting guards - or prison stretches). They were not just "fired and sent home". That would have put Germany into worsening chaos and both delay recovery and advance the forces trying to make all of Germany communist..

Well C we COULD have kept them on and what a FINE signal that would ahve been tot he Kurds and Shi’i, "Meet the new boss, the same as the OLD boss." They had to go because mostly they were "savvy" at looting and oppression, not the business of government, as Westerners take it to mean, "Business of government."

A fatuous argument. In other occupations, the "bad guys" continued to do tasks as they were investigated and until they were cleared or brought to trial, but no one mistook who was in charge - not the old guys, but the new boss. What has been done in other wars or coups is the military officer core and police apparatus musters, but does nothing without those in present charges permission. While those in civilian positions are kept in place until things are understood, doing productive tasks while being watched like hawks...

How EXACTLY were the Coalition Forces to supposed to secure this ammunition, considering that the IRAQI’s knew of its location(s) but that Coalition forces were IGNORANT of its location?

All Iraqi ammo dumps were built exactly to Soviet specs. Right down to the double fencing. The Coalition’s satellites and recon planes had the locations mapped. None were disguised. We knew before the war the location of each and every power plant, telecomm exchange, ammo dump, etc. etc. While some ordnance was looted as troops surged in, and even before our attack Saddam Feyadeen buried a small amount - the main transfer of High Explosives and weaponry from the dumps to the insurgents happened after Baghdad fell. The US lacked the troops to guard them. And even when the US had troops, they were assigned higher priorities - like building school playgrounds because it was thought that with the war one, it was pointless to secure the dumps from the happy, free Israqis. And until about October, they only watched as looters drove past, their cars almost scraping pavement from the weight of anti-tank mines, 155mm shells, RPGs, and wads of AK-47 guns and ammo looted from the unguarded ammo facility 3 klicks away from the school the soldiers worked in for PR...(Though many soldiers raised hell and said it was insane to let all that ordance disappear into unknown Hadji hands.)


 
Written By: C. Ford
URL: http://
All Iraqi ammo dumps were built exactly to Soviet specs. Right down to the double fencing. The Coalition’s satellites and recon planes had the locations mapped. None were disguised. We knew before the war the location of each and every power plant, telecomm exchange, ammo dump, etc. etc.
Yeah that’s why they keep discovering buried caches of WMD stuff that was hidden, scattered etc PRE WAR

But as I noted before, it’s hysterical to listen to the bellowing of the beasts who were chanting cut and run previously.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Okay, then throwing in the kindergarten teachers rushing about in exploding cardigans, I still fail to arrive at 200,000.

How many Baathists were dismissed?
Bremer’s first order led to the firing of about 30,000 ex-Baathists from various ministries. Some 15,000 were eventually permitted to return to work after they won their appeals, says Nibras Kazimi, a former adviser to the debaathification commission and currently a visiting Iraq scholar at the Hudson Institute. All military officers above the rank of colonel were barred from returning to work, as were all 100,000 members of Iraq’s various intelligence services.


org/publication.html?id=7853#4



Hey, maybe you can get there, who knows? Who cares? The comparison with prior occupations is invalid just the same. When did we ever occupy a country where the minority had so viciously oppressed the majority? IMO, while this de-Ba’athification may have been a mistake, it could have easily been just as foolish to retain the Ba’athists. We’ll never know, but it does make for some tasty second-guessing.
 
Written By: spongeworthy
URL: http://
The general outline - some kind of amnesty in exchange for an end to insurrection - is necessary for an ending to the war. As others have noted, it’s how wars end. There are some points that I hope we stick on before agreeing, mostly having to do with verification and consequences.

The exception to the verification and consequences issues is "innocent Iraqi blood". There can be no amnesty for non-Iraqis who came to Iraq to fight - they can go home if they can make it. There can be no amnesty for those who slaughtered civilians (including contractors) from any nation. Note that I’m not talking about stand-up fights, but capture and kill or planting bombs that killed civilians. I’d be leery of amnesty for anyone who used Iraqi women and children as human shields, but that’s really up to the Iraqis to decide.

The verification and consequences issues include: we’ll still undertake operations wherever the insurgency or the "militias" turn to violence; the Iraqi security forces will continue to operate everywhere, and to enforce the law; the timeline for withdrawal slips if the violence flares up; resumption of coalition operations in areas where terrorists are operating and are not turned over by the locals; the timeline has to be long enough to allow logistical and command competency in the Iraqi army, and cannot include any provisions keeping us from having training units and so forth in country.

We probably also want to arrange to have at least one permanent airbase and one permanent camp/maneuver area in the Western desert. This both acts as a deterrent to foreign invasion, and gives us a needed launch pad. The details of that need not be part of the amnesty, of course. This is not really any different from staying in bases in Japan after Japan regained its independance, and would be done for much the same reason.

Basically, I think it’s doable. I really hope our government officials make sure that it’s also workable long-term, or they’ll have a lot to answer for.
 
Written By: Jeff Medcalf
URL: http://www.caerdroia.org/blog

it’s hysterical to listen to the bellowing of the beasts who were chanting cut and run previously.


You mean the wingnuts ? They were the ones who were using the phrase "cut and run" previously.

The Brits also struck deals with the IRA which did involve some amnesties. Even for people who had bombed British soldiers. Unpleasant, but probably necessary.
 
Written By: Jon j
URL: http://
Take the freakin’ deal. This is what a real government does—it makes compromises that end in public support for its actions and, in this case, its legitimacy. This is what winning looks like, folks. Congratulations, we did it!
 
Written By: Steven Donegal
URL: http://
So the government is going to announce a "peace plan"? Great.

Meanwhile, US Forces and their Shia/Iranian backed allies (i.e., the Iraqi Secutiry Forces) battled with guerillas today on Haifa Street in Baghdad, a street that runs directly into the Green Zone. A state of emergency was declared from 2 PM to 6 AM; no one was allowed out on the streets.

Meanwhile, firefights involving US forces and their Shia/iranian backed allies erupted in Dora in South Baghdad. Mosul witnessed numerous executions and gang style killings this week. There were numerous other reports of killing and violence throughout the country. You know, the normal.

Since 2003, the level of violence in Iraq has not gone down. To the contrary, it has only increased.

The "peace plan" suggests that the government is "negotiating" with insurgent groups.

First of all, for years Bush has labeled insurgents "terrorists." Time and again. Now he apparently approves (and so does McQ) of surrendering to them, of giving them "amnesty." If giving illegal immigrants "amnesty" is surrenduring to the illegal immigration problem, then surrenduring to the terrorists by giving them amnesty is surrenduring in the Global War on Terror.

Why is Bush such a puss? He just gives in.

I like Trent Lott’s recoommendation from 2003:
"If we have to, we just mow the whole place down, see what happens."
Second, what in the world does the Shia dominated/Iranian backed government of Iraq have to offer the guerillas? Nothing. Why would they give them anything? The Shia dominate and are the majority. Why make concessions to their former overseerers?

The "peace plan" is simply a PR trick to keep the American money coming. Nothing more, nothing less.

And yet there is actually a serious discussion on this blog about the "peace plan." It’s ridiculous. Like watching a bunch of philospophy majors debating Hegel. It’s a meaningless, idealistic, totally inane discussion.

When did wingers become so naive?
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
"Fine, lets give the Haditha Marines and others - whom the NYTImes and the usual suspects on the Left wish to hang the same treatment. Amnesty as long as they "didn’t shed innocent American blood"."

To be the same treatment, the amnesty would have to apply to "American troops serving in the US.

"It says that the government will issue an amnesty for all those who have not committed crimes against the people of Iraq and the friends of Iraq," said Deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh, an ethnic Kurd from President Jalal Talabani’s Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. "Those who attack U.S. forces are not immune from legal consequences. An attack on Iraqi forces or multinational forces are seen legally . . . as the same thing from the perspective of the government."

I am confused. Just who is eligible for this amnesty other than people who have not committed any crime, and why would they need it?
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Mk, darling...
I’m not very impressed with the timbre of my blogosphere’s "Iraqi Peace-Plan"-discussion either. Let’s you and me go find a park-bench somewhere.

There, that’s better.

I was saying about the Peace Plan...here we’ve been fighting a war for nigh on three long years, and, lo! - suddenly there’s a peace-plan!

And I’ll be darned if we’re not all scratchin’ like preschoolers with head-lice: we’ve had varying degrees of "Civil War," a "quagmire," and an "insurgency"...and I think there was even a spate or two of "Islamo-terrorism" tucked in behind all the shenanigans over there.

But, now that the Rid-Ex (ie. the US) is workin’ it’s magic over there, and "Peace" is breaking out all over, you’d expect some unanimous celebration at Q and O...or something.

Not this gosh-darned scratchin’ at old scabs!
(Just a little higher, and a little to the right, please. Not too hard...)
-Steve
 
Written By: grass
URL: http://
Scratching isn’t very effective with lice — just leaves the heads buried in there. Giving them a bit of a scorching, on the other hand ...
 
Written By: Achillea
URL: http://

 
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