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Iraqi Sunnis Offer Conditions For Peace

Any coincidence that this story is nowhere to be found on traditional media? The conditions the Sunnis (I don't like the term 'insurgent')

Any coincidence that this story is nowhere to be found on traditional media? The conditions the Sunnis (I don't like the term 'insurgent') give seem fair from their perspective, but there's no way that the Bush administration would ever agree to them.

AlterNet:

For the first time, one of Iraq's principal insurgent groups has set out the terms of a ceasefire that would allow American and British forces to leave the country they invaded almost four years ago.

[..]The demands include the cancellation of the entire Iraqi constitution -- almost certainly because the document, in effect, awards oil-bearing areas of Iraq to Shia and Kurds, but not to the minority Sunni community. Yet the Sunnis remain Washington's principal enemies in the Iraqi war.

"Discussions and negotiations are a principle we believe in to overcome the situation in which Iraqi bloodletting continues," al-Jeelani said in a statement that was passed to The Independent. "Should the Americans wish to negotiate their withdrawal from our country and leave our people to live in peace, then we will negotiate subject to specific conditions and circumstances."

[..]Then come the conditions:

* The release of 5,000 detainees held in Iraqi prisons as "proof of goodwill."

* Recognition "of the legitimacy of the resistance and the legitimacy of its role in representing the will of the Iraqi people."

* An internationally guaranteed timetable for all agreements.

* The negotiations to take place in public.

* The resistance "must be represented by a committee comprising the representatives of all the jihadist brigades."

* The US to be represented by its ambassador in Iraq and the most senior commander.

It is not difficult to see why the Americans would object to those terms. They will not want to talk to men they have been describing as "terrorists" for the past four years. And if they were ever to concede that the "resistance" represented "the will of the Iraqi people" then their support for the elected Iraqi government would have been worthless.

Indeed, the insurgent leader specifically calls for the "dissolution of the present government and the revoking of the spurious elections and the constitution ..."

He also insists that all agreements previously entered into by Iraqi authorities or US forces should be declared null and void.

But there are other points which show that considerable discussion must have gone on within the insurgency movement -- possibly involving the group's rival, the Iraqi Islamic Army.

They call, for example, for the disbandment of militias and the outlawing of militia organisations -- something the US government has been urging the Iraqi Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, to do for months.

The terms also include the legalisation of the old Iraqi army, an "Anglo-American commitment to rebuild Iraq and reconstruct all war damage" -- something the occupying powers claim they have been trying to do for a long time -- and integrating "resistance fighters" into the recomposed army.

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