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Tuesday, February 22, 2005



it's hard to get too excited -- talks wandered on and on with the ira for years. but time magazine reports that negotiations are underway which may bring an end to the iraqi insurgency.

revelatory is the razor that cuts through the bullshit that the american public has been told:

What do the insurgents want? Top insurgent field commanders and negotiators informed TIME that the rebels have told diplomats and military officers that they support a secular democracy in Iraq but resent the prospect of a government run by exiles who fled to Iran and the West during Saddam's regime. The insurgents also seek a guaranteed timetable for U.S. troop withdrawal, a demand the U.S. refuses. But there are some hints of compromise: insurgent negotiators have told their U.S. counterparts they would accept a U.N. peacekeeping force as the U.S. troop presence recedes. Insurgent representative Abu Mohammed says the nationalists would even tolerate U.S. bases on Iraqi soil. "We don't mind if the invader becomes a guest," he says, suggesting a situation akin to the U.S. military presence in Germany and Japan.
doesn't sound much like the "nihilist" warriors we've been told of prior to now, does it? of course, very little the average american thinks he knows about iraq and our being there is true.

it is important to note what this would not be. it would not be a solid bulwark against civil war -- the american-installed democracy can easily (is likely to, in fact) fail in iraq even if the insurgency stops, leading to a power struggle. it would not be a panacea that solves the problems of a divided iraq where shi'ites and fundamentalists grab power, kurds seek independence and sunnis and secularists live in fear or leave.

but it would be a face-saving way for america to avoid the endless losing war that it is fighting now.

it may also be, as raimondo notes, a promising sign that the idealism regarding iraq may be on the backburner now, forced by mounting disaster to give way to some realism.

but that is only a possibility. one must also remember the ghastly inaugural speech bush gave, and note the mounting propects for war against iran and syria. a declared peace would free our armies to be turned against other targets from their central location in iraq.

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