Victims of Violence Triple
Bush to offer more Power to al-Maliki
Al-Hayat writing in Arabic says that Da’wa Party official Hasan al-Sunaid, a member of parliament, has information on Bush’s plan for Iraq. He learned of it through Bush’s consultations with PM Nuri al-Maliki:
* Strengthening the Iraqi government so that it can take over security duties in the provinces and then in Baghdad.
* Increasing the prerogatives of the Prime Minister as commander in chief of the armed forces
* Replacing some US military units in Iraq with more well-trained and seasoned troops better able to tackle terrorism
* Support for the Iraqi government in its quest to regain authority over the Iraqi military, and raising its level of readiness.
In contrast, a former Iraqi cabinet minister, Ali Allawi recently put forward in the Independent a more promising peace proposal. It is worth reading in full, but here are the money grafs:
‘ The first step must be the recognition that the solution to the Iraq crisis must be generated first internally, and then, importantly, at the regional level. . . No foreign power, no matter how benevolent, should be allowed to dictate the terms of a possible historic and stable settlement in the Middle East. . .
Secondly, the basis of a settlement must take into account the fact that the forces that have been unleashed by the invasion of Iraq must be acknowledged and accommodated. These forces, in turn, must accept limits to their demands and claims. That would apply, in particular, to the Shias and the Kurds, the two communities who have been seen to have gained from the invasion of Iraq.
Thirdly, the Sunni Arab community must become convinced that its loss of undivided power will not lead to marginalisation and discrimination. . .
Fourthly, the existing states surrounding Iraq feel deeply threatened by the changes there. That needs to be recognised and treated in any lasting deal for Iraq and the area. . .
The Iraqi government that has arisen as a result of the admittedly flawed political process must be accepted as a sovereign and responsible government. No settlement can possibly succeed if its starting point is the illegitimacy of the Iraqi government or one that considers it expendable.
Reuters reports political violence in Iraq, including the killing of a Shiite family by Sunni guerrillas as they were packing up to leave the largely Sunni Arab neighborhood of Dura. A mini-bus full of Shiite workers was bombed. Two US troops were announced killed.
The number of Iraqis killed in political violence tripled in the second half of 2006 according to official statistics. Just multiply the official figures by about 7 and you’d be close to the true number.
If this is what it is like for US troops on the edge of Sadr City . . . No wonder the warbloggers hate AP for telling it like it is.
Nir Rosen profiles Adnan Dulaimi, a leader of the Sunni religious “National Accord Front, which has 44 seats in the Iraqi parliament. Nir calls him Iraq’s most sectarian politician, but there are lots of candidates for that award.
The American Historical Association took a major step toward a strong anti-war resolution. It has to be approved by the board, but the membership clearly is dismayed by the news coming out of Iraq. But in the face of the superior geopolitical judgment of schlock pundits and “provocative” cable television hosts, who are mere historians, to have an opinion?