Bush’s scatterbrain “Reconciliation” Plan
By Mike Whitney
Clearing House" -- -- Is “reconciliation” possible with the men who
raped your daughters, poisoned your water, looted your museums,
leveled your cities, bombed your holy sites, tortured and killed
your friends and family, and toppled your government?
Don’t bet on it.
George Bush’s belief that he can cobble together an armistice with
the Iraqi resistance and quiet things down by election time, is
going nowhere. Even among the few stragglers that he’s managed to
entice with his “reconciliation plan”, the demands are much greater
than Bush is prepared to offer. The three sticking points are
recognition of the resistance, amnesty for fighters, and a timetable
Bush had no idea that making peace could be so difficult.
The plan came to light a couple weeks ago when Iraqi President
Talibani let on that he’d been in contact with 11 groups in the
so-called “insurgency” for nearly three months. That means that
while Bush was touring the country promising “not to leave Iraq
until we achieve total victory”, his emissary was busy passing out
olive branches to the guys shooting-up Americans.
The reconciliation idea appeared as a trial balloon sent up Bush’s
Iraqi premier Nour al-Maliki. Al Maliki produced a 28 point-plan
that was quickly stripped down to 24 points after a weekend
firestorm of criticism by Democratic lawmakers on Capital Hill.
Senators Carl Levin and Barbara Boxer made it clear that they would
prefer to drag the war into infinity rather than pardon the men who
fought Americans on their home soil. No wonder the “wrongway”
Democrats can’t win elections.
Hey Carl, you don’t make peace with the guy who’s sitting at home
Since, the initial announcement, there’s been no movement on the
political front, but “reconciliation” keeps popping up in the
mainstream media. It’s clear that the Bush team is going ahead with
its offer of amnesty to try to “buy off” the less resolute members
in the resistance. In fact, neocon Charles Krauthammer said just
last week in a Washington Post article that Bush “is firmly behind
the policy”. (So much for Bush’s empty rhetoric about “victory”)
In any event, the Democrats should be glad that Bush finally
realized that the war cannot be won by militarily. This is the first
hopeful sign of a political solution and a real departure from the
phony elections and the other Karl Rove publicity stunts. Still, the
prospects for peace in Iraq are slim given the long list of war
crimes which have galvanized Iraqi public opinion against the
Maybe, there was a chance for reconciliation after the fall of
Baghdad when many Iraqis seemed to take a “wait and see” attitude
about Bush’s promise of democracy, but then came Falluja, Abu Ghraib,
Haditha, and Mahmudiyah. Now, it’s just a matter of running out the
clock until America is forced to pack it in and head home.
There’s not much wiggle-room in the new 28-point plan for Bush to
wrangle a cease-fire. The real message from the resistance can be
summarized in a brief 2-word statement; “Get out! Get off my land
and leave us alone”; that’s it, and it’s hard to see how that’s
going to change.
Sure, Bush will probably manage to drag a few wavering “insurgent
leaders” to the bargaining table, but as long as the occupation
continues, the fighting will persist. Iraq has gone far beyond
traditional warfare. Now it’s a blood-feud between arch-rivals that
will only end when one party is too beaten to get up off the ground.
Bush is dreaming if he thinks that he can patch things together by
throwing a bone to the resistance. What good does amnesty do when
the country is in rubble and an American stooge is running the
government from the Green Zone? This just forces the resistance to
stiffen their resolve and continue the struggle. There's really no
The Bush plan will do nothing to quell the violence. Last month,
there were 1,300 attacks in Baghdad alone. The resistance is
swelling and gaining strength. They’re also minimizing the effects
of America’s technical advantages while using “improvised” weaponry
to keep their adversary off balance. They’ve learned to adapt to a
situation that presents new obstacles every day and to execute an
increasing number of attacks without being exposed. It looks like
they could drag this thing out forever. They know that in 4th
Generation warfare, the guerilla army only has to outlast its enemy
Bush’s shortsighted “reconciliation plan” is D.O.A. (dead on
arrival) The resistance will never settle for a “half-loaf” offer of
amnesty to put down their weapons. It’s crazy. Who does Bush think
he’s dealing with anyway? Does he really think he teach the Ba’ath
leaders something new about political cunning and duplicity?
These guys wrote the book, George, so give it up.
“Reconciliation” should be limited to family get-togethers and
meetings with long-lost friends. It has nothing to do with
occupation. What Bush needs to consider is withdrawal; cutting his
losses and giving up his scatterbrain idea to re-colonize Iraq.
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