Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Iraq Insurgents Want to Talk

Great news from Iraq! Insurgents who have tried to disrupt Iraq are starting to change their mings. They want to talk to the US and the new government of Iraq. They fear being left out of the future of Iraq; they want in. It's not the US winning, but the people if Iraq. From the Chicago Tribune via Macon.com
BAGHDAD, Iraq - As Iraq moves toward crucial legislative elections Thursday, homegrown Iraqi insurgent groups are reaching out to the United States in the hope of launching a dialogue that would draw them into the political process and end their 2 1/2-year rebellion, according to U.S. officials and Iraqis close to the insurgency. Spurred by fears of the growing influence of Iran and encouraged by signals from Washington that the United States will start drawing down troops next year, insurgents who see themselves as fighting for an Iraqi nationalist cause are looking for ways to distance themselves from the religious radicals and the hard-core Baathists who have dominated the insurgency in the public eye, with a view to establishing a foothold in Iraq's political landscape, the Iraqis say.
But the US is cautious and of course we do not negotiate with terrorists....
At the same time, U.S. officials also have indicated that they are willing to open a dialogue with people representing insurgent groups, as long as they have not been directly involved in violence. "We're not going to talk to people with blood on their hands," said Gen. George Casey, the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, in a recent interview. "We talk to others who talk to them." A number of exploratory meetings have taken place between U.S. officials and people who claim to represent insurgent interests, Iraqis and Americans say, though there have been few tangible results. "They haven't got very far," said Casey. "There's too much mistrust." But the signals from both sides point to a building momentum toward negotiations that could help ease the violence as U.S. forces prepare to start reducing troops next year. Insurgents also have been reaching out to the Iraqi government. Since President Jalal Talabani told the National Reconciliation Conference in Cairo late last month that he was prepared to "listen" to "any armed group" that wanted to talk, his office has been contacted by a number of people who claim to be leaders of the insurgency offering to negotiate, his officials say.
Read the whole thing! Great news!

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