Sunday, June 25, 2006

BBC on Iraqi Plan for Peace

Other parts of the plan are an insistence that democracy has arrived in Iraq and must be supported, a refusal to set any date or timetable for a total withdrawal of US troops (presented as a weakness), yet with a suggestion that a reduction might start soon as the effort to transfer responsibility to Iraqi forces gathers pace.
Yesterday we were told by The Times, which said that it had seen the plan, that it would include a timetable for withdrawal of all foreign troops. MSNBC/Newsweek had also seen the plan and had reported:

June 24, 2006 - A timetable for withdrawal of occupation troops from Iraq. Amnesty for all insurgents who attacked U.S. and Iraqi military targets. Release of all security detainees from U.S. and Iraqi prisons. Compensation for victims of coalition military operations.

Those sound like the demands of some of the insurgents themselves, and in fact they are. But they're also key clauses of a national reconciliation plan drafted by new Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who will unveil it Sunday. The provisions will spark sharp debate in Iraq—but the fiercest opposition is likely to come from Washington, which has opposed any talk of timetables, or of amnesty for insurgents who have attacked American soldiers.
NEWSWEEK has obtained a draft copy of the national reconciliation plan, and verified its contents with two Iraqi officials involved in the reconciliation process who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the plan's contents.
The provision for amnesty for insurgents has also been watered down, and does not now seem to include those who have attacked American troops. Apparently, the Iraqi government is still not strong enough to stand up to the Bush administration--and the Bush administration has no plans to ever withdraw all our troops from Iraq.
Update: Apparently the insurgents have already rejected the plan.


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