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Nouri al-Maliki told CNN last night that Iraq would never fall into civil war despite the sectarian violence currently plaguing the capital. He also predicted that Coalition troops could start significant drawdowns within months as Iraqi forces take control of more provinces:
On a day in which at least 46 people were killed, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said he did not foresee a civil war in Iraq and that violence in his country was abating.
"In Iraq, we'll never be in civil war," al-Maliki told CNN's "Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer." ...
Asked when coalition troops might leave, the Iraqi leader was equivocal.
"It could be a year or less, or a few months," he said. "This has to do with the -- with our success of the democratic -- or the political process in Iraq, and to have the security agencies to protect this process."
Maliki has to remain optimistic, and recent events may help fuel his insistence on the inevitability of stability. The new security plan appeared to have some success, although yesterday did have almost four dozen deaths. If the Iraqis and the Americans cannot exercise more control over the sectarian militias and start to disband them, the street fighting will escalate into at least a civil insurrection in Iraq's largest city. That will look a lot like a civil war, even if the elected government holds the rest of the country with little problem.
One event that CNN reported gives more hope. A Sunni legislator has emerged alive after two months in captivity. Tayseer al-Mashhadani, one of Iraq's female politicians, disappeared in early July, but no one claimed responsibility for her abduction or offered any demands for her release. No one is quite sure who kidnapped her or why she was let go, even though the kidnapping was well-planned.
Another hopeful sign is the recent conference Maliki hosted to promote national unity. Over 400 politicians and tribal leaders met with the Iraqi PM to plan for domestic peace. The conference attendees agreed to help foster understanding, and Maliki told them to urge their followers to think of themselves as Iraqis first and above all. If that message can take hold, then Maliki could avoid the civil war he insists will never happen. We hope time proves him correct.Sphere It View blog reactions
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Tracked on August 28, 2006 5:54 PM
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