Sunday, June 26, 2005

OK, we know Rove's plan now 

Rove's plan has two parts:
  1. Cut loose from Iraq before the 2006 elections

  2. Blame the Democrats for the ensuing clusterfuck

Part 2 we've already seen; that's the "Stab in the back" theory that Rove just rolled out. (I mean, how could American possibly screw up a war unless there were a fifth column of traitors, i.e., Democrats. Et cetera, et cetera, ad nauseum, ad infinitum. See The Department of Changing the Subject, below).

Part 1 is now coming into view. We saw part 1, as through as glass darkly, where Iraqi President Jafari asked about a "Bush Plan," like the Marshall Plan, for Iraqi reconstruction. Bush was notably silent. News flash, Ibrahim : There ain't gonna be no Bush Plan for you, because the Bush Plan for Bush is to heave you over the side before the Republicans lose any seats in 2006. (Remember, the Republicans don't ever plan to surrender power, which is why they don't care about what they do; they feel they will never be held to account. So when the prospect of losing power gets anywhere close, they become very, very edgy.)

So, ditching the Iraqis won't be a pretty sight. But it's starting now:

LONDON - U.S. officials recently met secretly with Iraqi insurgent commanders at a summer villa north of Baghdad to try to negotiate an end to the bloodshed, a British newspaper reported Sunday.

The insurgent commanders "apparently came face to face" with four American officials during meetings on June 3 and June 13 at a summer villa near Balad, about 25 miles north of Baghdad, the Iraqi capital, The Sunday Times newspaper in London said.

The report, which quoted unidentified Iraqis whose groups were purportedly involved in the meetings, said the insurgents at the first meeting included the Ansar al-Sunnah Army, which claimed responsibility for suicide bombings in
Iraq and an attack that killed 22 people in the dining hall of a U.S. base at Mosul last Christmas.

Two others were Mohammed's Army and the Islamic Army in Iraq, which in August reportedly killed Italian journalist Enzo Baldoni, the newspaper said.

One American at the talks introduced himself as a
Pentagon representative and declared himself ready to "find ways of stopping the bloodshed on both sides and to listen to demands and grievances," The Sunday Times said.

A senior U.S. official said earlier this month that American authorities have negotiated with key Sunni leaders, who are in turn talking with insurgents and trying to persuade them to lay down their arms. The official, who did not give his name so as not to undercut the new government's authority, did not name the Sunni leaders engaged in dialogue.

Iraq's former electricity minister, Ayham al-Samarie, has told The Associated Press that two insurgent groups — the Islamic Army in Iraq and the Army of Mujahedeen — were willing to negotiate with the Iraqi government, possibly opening a new political front in the country.

Al-Samarie, a Sunni Muslim, said he had established contact with the groups which account for a large part of the Sunni insurgents and were responsible for attacks against Iraqis and foreigners, including assassinations and kidnappings.

A senior Shiite legislator, Hummam Hammoudi, also told AP recently that the Iraqi government had opened indirect channels of communication with some insurgent groups.

The contacts were "becoming more promising and they give us reason to continue," Hammoudi said, without providing details.

U.S. and Iraqi officials also are considering amnesty for their enemies as they look for ways to end the country's rampant insurgency and isolate extremists wanting to start a civil war.
(via AP

Translation: "Mohammed, we need you to help us dig ourselves out of the hole we've dug for ourselves."

No, not a pretty sight. Rummy's lying about all this, of course, but we expect that.

Um, I thought we never negotiated with terrorists? Oh, silly me. IOKIYAR!

NOTE Look for Bush's Big Speech on Tuesday to say the same thing in nicer words.

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