Insurgent Leader Offers Talks with US
Demands Withdrawal Timetable
Dr. Ibrahim al-Shammari of the Islamic Army of Iraq offered talks with the US if Congress will set a withdrawal timetable. IAI was at one point allied with Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s “Monotheism and Holy War” guerrilla group, but appears itself to be indigenous Iraqis.
The USG Open Source Center translates al-Shammari’s remarks:
‘ Islamic Army in Iraq Spokesman Sets Conditions for Negotiating With US
Jihadist Websites — OSC Report
Thursday, October 5, 2006 T22:20:13Z
A translation of Dr. Al-Shammari’s response follows:
“As for the issue of negotiating with the enemies, the issue of armistice, and the issue of peace, all of these issues are legitimately permissible; while the case as in the current state of war with the Crusaders and sectarians, it is a legitimate duty to defend the religion, people, and the land. In principle, we are not against negotiating with enemies if the other party is serious. In my previous interview with Al-Jazirah channel, I mentioned the conditions as viewed by the Islamic Army in Iraq group so that the negotiations may be fruitful. These views are:
1. The US Congress should issue a bill obligating the US administration to pull the US forces out of Iraq. While many question the wisdom behind this particular condition, we mentioned it in the context that there is no one among the international powers capable of forcing the US government to pull out of Iraq but its constitutional agencies, at the time when the international institutions like the UN Security Council and the UN have turned into a servicing agency attached to the US Department of State. Give the US what is desired of pre-fabricated resolutions to use as a pretext for launching its preemptive wars, or provide a facade for its ugly wars that have no legal grounds approved by the international community, such as the invasion of Iraq. We should not forget that it was the US Congress that issued the bill for liberating Iraq in 1998. It should also be mentioned that the continuous interest on the part of some elements in the Congress working to issue such a bill was a right step in the right direction. There are some efforts to prevent President Bush from establishing permanent bases in Iraq, which is another right step in the right direction.
2. The US government should recognize the Iraqi resistance as the sole legitimate representative of the Iraqi people, because right after the war, all of the Iraqi state’s institutions crumbled and the legitimate government was ended. It is natural that the Iraqi resistance is the best to represent the Iraqi people, as it is the case in the whole world when a country falls under occupation. Why should Iraq be an exception to that rule, which the whole world adheres to when dealing with states falling under occupation.
These two items are the principle conditions upon which any successful negotiations depend, and under which other conditions could be subservient, like apologizing to the Iraqi people about the occupation, indemnifying for private and public properties, and setting free all prisoners and others. The peace process needs long and sound steps in the direction of the desired objective. If the US is serious about negotiations, we will be more serious, and ready to conduct any kind of negotiations overt or covert, the only exception is credibility. We do not object to intermediaries with international credibility in this regard. We also may exchange official memos and we do not object to secrecy.” ‘