Sunday, June 18, 2006

Iraq government tries to craft Amnesty plan

The announcement, made and withdrawn with amazing speed earlier this week, sent frissons of ecstasy through various Republicans. While the announcement was premature, the idea lives on and is being developed by the government. The LA Times has the details.
The reconciliation plan, which is expected to be formally announced soon, would be among the Iraqi government's most comprehensive attempts to engage with insurgent groups.

"The main thing," said Haidar Abadi, a leader of Maliki's Islamic Dawa Party, is that the plan doesn't rule out participation of "the bloody-handed people in the political process."....

.....The new proposal, said an official close to Maliki, merely recognizes the difficulty of verifying insurgents' past actions.

"Theoretically, we can say we cannot give any amnesty to those in the [former] security agencies and those in Saddam's regime and those who have killed and bombed Iraqis after the invasion," said Salah Abdul Razzaq, a spokesman for several prominent Shiite religious organizations.

"In practice, anyone who comes to negotiations and says, 'I have no problem with Iraqis or Iraqi government, just with U.S. forces,' how can we check that?"
Such a plan would have two effects, one good and one bad. It would separate the foreigners from the local resistance and it would coalesce the opposition to the US presence. Our Dear Embattled Leader might have to pull out sooner than he would like. Time will tell.


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