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June 24, 2006
Don't Worry About That Amnesty Offer

After a day of debate over the idea of granting amnesty to native insurgents that have killed American troops, the insurgents themselves rendered the point moot. According to the Times of London, which broke the story on the Iraqi peace offer, key insurgent groups have already stated their opposition to the plan (via Newsbeat1):

IRAQ’S main insurgent groups intend to reject a peace plan that Nouri al-Maliki, the prime minister, will present today in an attempt to halt the country’s spiral of violence.

Maliki is expected to go before parliament with a 28- point plan for national reconciliation aimed at defusing the Sunni insurgency and sectarian conflict in which thousands of people have died. ...

Representatives of 11 Iraqi insurgent groups told The Sunday Times yesterday that they would reject the peace offer because they did not recognise the legitimacy of the government.

A senior commander authorised to speak on behalf of other groups warned that they would continue to fight. “As long as there is an occupation and an illegitimate government, the resistance and insurgency will continue,” he said.

That puts an end to the entire notion of negotiated peace with the insurgents. If they will not recognize the elected government as legitimate, then they will recognize no arbiter for a truce. The position leaves the insurgents outside the political process and in the sights of both American and Iraqi security forces. At the rate that their intel has improved, these groups may soon regret their stance.

This will come as a victory for Talabani, Maliki, and the new Iraqi government. Fourteen million people voted to put this government in power, which gives it a legitimacy that the sorry band of Iraqi deadenders will never win by blowing up security forces and civilians. The government has faced pressure to offer some sort of national reconciliation to the native insurgents, especially from the Sunnis in the center of the country. When Maliki makes this plan public, he will have given the best offer possible while maintaining self-determination for the Iraqi people. Their rejection takes the pressure off of the national government to be the prime mover for that reconciliation, and it will undermine what sympathy still remains for the insurgents.

What next? Expect a renewed security effort by the Iraqi government and a lot less pressure for an American wihdrawal in the near term. Maliki and Talabani have given themselves an open window for conducting further degradation of the insurgent networks. And now, the Iraqi people will know who to blame for the continuing violence -- and the intel will improve that much more.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at June 24, 2006 9:41 PM

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