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More on the Iraqi "Peace Plan"
Posted by: McQ on Saturday, June 24, 2006

Newsweek has confirmed yesterday's story by the Times of London which discussed Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's "Peace Plan" which he plans to introduce tomorrow.

As discussed, the plan included an amnesty proposal. As we've further discussed, that proposal is integral to a successful reconciliation government, whether we, the US, like it or not.

Perhaps the most important part of the plan is that of the proposed withdrawal of coalition forces. Let's be clear here, it's a "timetable" in name only since it doesn't have a date attached to it:
The plan also calls for a withdrawal timetable for coalition forces from Iraq, but it doesn't specify an actual date—one of the Sunnis' key demands. It calls for "the necessity of agreeing on a timetable under conditions that take into account the formation of Iraqi armed forces so as to guarantee Iraq's security," and asks that a U.N. Security Council decree confirm the timetable. Mahmoud Othman, a National Assembly member who is close to President Talabani, said that no one disagrees with the concept of a broad, conditions-based timetable. The problem is specifying a date, which the United States has rejected as playing into the insurgents' hands. But Othman didn't rule out that reconciliation negotiations called for in the plan might well lead to setting a date. "That will be a problem between the Iraqi government and the other side [the insurgents], and we will see how it goes. It's not very clear yet."
Got that? It doesn't have a date, yet. But since that is a key Sunni demand, it may very well end up with a date. We'll watch and see.

To reinforce the point:
"Does that mean the subject of a date is up for negotiation?" he was asked. "I think that if men of goodwill sit down together and exchange ideas, which might be defined either by a timetable or by ... sets of conditions, there must be a capacity to find common ground," the official said.
So the answer is "yes". But there is none yet. Just so there's no misunderstanding.
 
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Whether the withdrawal has a date attached to it or not really begs the question. The problem with the various withdrawal proposals floated by Democrats in Congress was not that they had dates, per se, but that the dates attached to them were arbitrary, not driven or even affected by conditions in Iraq.

If the Sunni element of the insurgency makes a credible offer to lay down arms and join the political process in exchange for a timetable for a US withdrawal, that, by definition, is a conditions-based timetable.

I think that if the Sunni insurgents are willing to meet some tests to demonstrate that they intend to honor their side of the bargain the withdrawal timetable should be accepted.
 
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://

The problem with the various withdrawal proposals floated by Democrats in Congress was not that they had dates, per se, but that the dates attached to them were arbitrary, not driven or even affected by conditions in Iraq.


ALthough I didn’t pay that much attention to the proposals, I believe the 2nd one said that dates depended on conditions in Iraq and could be modified.

The hopeful scenario here is that at least some of the Sunnis disarm, some of the Shia militas do likewise and the escalating cycle of violence de-escalates over the next 2-3 years.

At some point Maliki also needs to move against the criminal gangs and against corruption. For most IRaqis outside the central provinces, these are probably far more of a problem.




 
Written By: Mark m
URL: http://
I think Mark m has a good point, corruption and internal instablity are key concerns.

I will still point out that at the end of the day, some legal/verbal leger de main is going to occur and the "Coalition Forces" WILL go home. They will be replaced by US forces stationed in Iraq under an security agreement/treaty. Now US forces will spend decades in Kasernes/Casbahs in Iraq and my friends will talk of Ramadi, the ranges west of Yousafi, rather than Bamberg and Grafenwoeher (sp.).

I laugh a little, but I don’t object either. But if anyone thinks the US is COMING HOME from Iraq, I would point you to kasernes throughout the BRD, Camp Red Cloud, Camp Casey in the ROK, and to numerous camps in Japan and Okinawa.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Remember, after the American Civil War, Abraham Lincoln’s main and virtually only condition for
the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia (and later the other remaining armies of the
Confederacy) was that they lay down their arms, go home and promise to be loyal to the United
States of America. Lincoln was never in favor of punishment of the Confederacy or war crimes
trials for its leaders. He knew, the only way to national reconciliation was to let everyone be
countrymen again.

The radical reconstruction that followed Lincoln’s death was, in many ways, the wrong way to
go, to the extent that it sought top punish the former members of the Confederacy. It would have
been much more successful if it had simply sought to impose the new order concerning treatment
of the former slaves, rather than also imposing northern "overlords" to run the local governments.
In fact, many have argued that radical reconstruction prolonged the post-war poverty and
isolation of the former Confederacy.

The new Iraqi leadership well understands that this is necessary if you are going to get anywhere
with regard to national reconciliation. This is even more true in a country with such deep ethnic
division to deal with after the war. We cannot condemn them for wanting to grant amnesty and
move past the war, when we did the same thing ourselves 150 years ago.
 
Written By: GLELAWNJ
URL: http://
I don’t know anything about Middle Eastern culture to be an authority, I hope this isn’t a big cultural misunderstand.

I mean in some cultures setting dates is not held as firm a commitment to meet that date as it is in North American Culture.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://

 
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