15 June 2006

Amnesty for those who "only" killed U.S. troops. Bravo, BushCo...

From today's WaPo:
Iraq Amnesty Plan May Cover Attacks On U.S. Military

By Ellen Knickmeyer and Jonathan Finer
Washington Post Foreign Service
Thursday, June 15, 2006; Page A01

BAGHDAD, June 14 -- Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Wednesday proposed a limited amnesty to help end the Sunni Arab insurgency as part of a national reconciliation plan that Maliki said would be released within days. The plan is likely to include pardons for those who had attacked only U.S. troops, a top adviser said.

Maliki's declaration of openness to talks with some members of Sunni armed factions, and the prospect of pardons, are concessions that previous, interim governments had avoided. The statements marked the first time a leader from Iraq's governing Shiite religious parties has publicly embraced national reconciliation, welcomed dialogue with armed groups and proposed a limited amnesty.

Reconciliation could include an amnesty for those "who weren't involved in the shedding of Iraqi blood," Maliki told reporters at a Baghdad news conference. "Also, it includes talks with the armed men who opposed the political process and now want to turn back to political activity."

...The Arab League on Wednesday postponed a reconciliation conference for Iraq that had been set for August. Adnan Ali al-Kadhimi, a top adviser to Maliki, said the conference was delayed in part so Iraq could decide who might be eligible for any amnesty. It was not clear how the government would verify which insurgents have been responsible for which types of attacks.

"The government has in mind somehow to do reconciliation, and one way to do it is to offer an amnesty, but not a sort of unconditional amnesty," Kadhimi said in a telephone interview. "We can see if somehow those who are so-called resistance can be accepted if they have not been involved in any kind of criminal behavior, such as killing innocent people or damaging infrastructure, and even infrastructure if it is minor will be pardoned."
His aide, Khadimi, provided further clarification later in the piece:
Asked about clemency for those who attacked U.S. troops, he said: "That's an area where we can see a green line. There's some sort of preliminary understanding between us and the MNF-I," the U.S.-led Multi-National Force-Iraq, "that there is a patriotic feeling among the Iraqi youth and the belief that those attacks are legitimate acts of resistance and defending their homeland. These people will be pardoned definitely, I believe."
Beginning with his recent forceful condemnation of the U.S. military's "habitual" attacks on civilians, it's becoming increasingly clear that Al-Maliki's strategy for consolidating support is built upon embracing the people's seething bitterness towards the U.S. Yes, the new PM is looking to be quite the politician, these days, and quite a familiar one, as well.

Hate mobilizes; latch onto that, and the votes will follow.

Where have we heard THAT tune played before?

It looks like the Rove playbook has finally received its Arabic translation. El Presidente has gays and immigrants, Al-Maliki has us. I couldn't think of a more appropriate development for Dear Leader's unnecessary war of choice and egotism. Good to see him finally showing that "uniter, not divider" side. In light of the "friendly democracy" stage of his bullshit story evolving rationale for this debacle, the irony is absolutely priceless.

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