Skip to comments.Has Maliki Ended The Insurgency?breaking news
Posted on 08/22/2007 1:59:21 PM PDT by WBL 1952
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The leader of Iraq's banned Baath party, Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, has decided to join efforts by the Iraqi authorities to fight al-Qaeda, one of the party's former top officials, Abu Wisam al-Jashaami, told pan-Arab daily Al Hayat. "AlDouri has decided to sever ties with al-Qaeda and sign up to the programme of the national resistance, which includes routing Islamist terrorists and opening up dialogue with the Baghdad government and foreign forces," al-Jashaami said.
Al-Douri has decided to deal directly with US forces in Iraq, according to al-Jashaami. He figures in the 55-card deck of "most wanted" officials from the former Iraqi regime issued by the US government.
In return, for cooperating in the fight against al-Qaeda, al-Douri has asked for guarantees over his men's safety and for an end to Iraqi army attacks on his militias.
Recent weeks have seen a first step in this direction, when Baathist fighters cooperated with Iraqi government forces in hunting down al-Qaeda operatives in the volatile Diyala province and in several districts of the capital, Baghadad. This could be game, set, and match for the Iraq War. Some smaller insurgent elements assisted in clearing Baqubah as a test to see whether an alliance with Americans would work. Apparently, the experiment worked. If al-Douri accepts the authority of the elected Iraqi government, then almost all of the resistance in western Iraq will disappear -- leaving AQI very exposed.
It seems more than just coincidental that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki visited the former Ba'athist power base of Tikrit last Thursday. Maliki went to Saddam's hometown, where al-Douri likely has his strongest allies, to meet with the Sunni sheikhs. They gave him a warm welcome, and they pledged to find ways to work with each other. At the same time, he signed an agreement with the Kurds and the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council, which has been Moqtada al-Sadr's bitter opponent in the south.
Putting all of this together, it looks like Maliki decided to dump Sadr at the beginning of the surge. Sadr fled to Iran for a while, returned to see whether he could weasel his way back into power, and then pulled his deputies from Maliki's government. When it didn't fall, Maliki went to the SIIC to cut a deal with them instead. Once he did that, he brought the Kurds into it and looked for an opening with the Sunnis of Tikrit.
The turning of al-Douri, if true, would indicate that Maliki may have succeeded in marginalizing Sadr and bringing together the rest of the disparate elements of Iraq at least into a relationship where unity could occur. That would not have happened except for the performance of Petraeus and his work in Anbar and Diyala. The surge came as Sunnis had tired of AQI's brutal imposition of Taliban-like rule, and the renewed American effort has given the tribes a reason to unite and to work with the Baghdad government.
Maliki may have taken a huge step towards ending the insurgency while dispensing with Sadr. If so, Congress may hear in September that significant progress has been made both politically and militarily -- and that we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
UPDATE: Read Michael Yon's latest dispatch to get an idea why even the insurgents prefer the Americans and Maliki. As NZ Bear mentioned on CQ Radio today, Yon notes that AQI makes the best argument for stamping out AQI.
There is another side to the al-Douri story, though, if he does in fact switch teams. The Iraqis have jailed and tried Saddam-era officials with less direct complicity in atrocities than al-Douri, such as Tariq Aziz. Can the King of Clubs simply go free, and if so, how so? The answer will probably be that a pardon will save many more lives and bring healing to Iraq -- all of which would undoubtedly be true. It will provoke some uncomfortable questions about the scope of forgiveness necessary for an Iraqi national reconciliation.
Posted by Ed Morrissey on August 22, 2007 3:00 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBacks (0)
Another thought: This could explain Bush’s fabulous tough talk at the VFW convention in Kansas City today.
—Can the King of Clubs simply go free, and if so, how so?—
Let him go and hang out with OJ Simpson on Florida golf courses.
This story should lead every national newscast in America tonight.
And, as an aside, it was the bravery and professionalism of the American military in Iraq that brought this about, not the Maliki government.
Excellent! Thanks for posting this!
Didnt we lose that war?
Everyone pray that the Baathists change of sides is real. This could indeed be the defining turning point. Also let’s hope that Maliki prioritizes peace with the Sunnis more than relations to Sadr and Iran.
? Excuse me? al-Douri should be EXECUTED
This is great news, but Im not sure the Baathists are the ones giving us the most problems. However, if the Baathist fighters could fight on our side, then we might be able to start winning and get the heck out of there.
WOW. Absolutely great, if this is for real. Thanks for posting.
Another theory of mine in addition to Bush’s tough VFW talk on surrender today:
Putin has been flexing Russia’s muscles lately. He is probably the 2nd person in the world, after Bush, with information on what is happening in Iraq. Knowing victory for America is at hand and fearing that the euphoria of victory would lead Americans to venture for even greater gains in the region (Iran, etc) he is now sending signals that Moscow is as tough as ever so watch your step America.
Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri sounds like a dead man walking and making promises he can’t keep.
I will continue to follow this story and hope for the best. I would like to be optimistic, but I am not.
I don’t trust Maliki. I hope I am wrong.
“uncomfortable questions about the scope of forgiveness necessary for an Iraqi national reconciliation.”
Slimier deals have been made with bigger slimes than this guy. He is bring an IMMENSE amount to the table. This deal, if true, could be a very big light at the end of the tunnel.
I don’t know how many of you people have sons and nephews over there, but those of us who do, would like to see this thing ended quickly and successfully.
Hillary's calling for his resignation, according to CNN.
You don’t execute your new best asset..you merely watch him very carefully.
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