OpinionMeister

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Wonderful if it is True

The Financial Times reports that Baathist insurgents (but not the Zarqawi crowd) are looking for an exit strategy. Link.
Many of Iraq's predominantly Sunni Arab insurgents would lay down their arms and join the political process in exchange for guarantees of their safety and that of their co-religionists, according to a prominent Sunni politician.

Sharif Ali Bin al-Hussein, who heads Iraq's main monarchist movement and is in contact with guerrilla leaders, said many insurgents including former officials of the ruling Ba'ath party, army officers, and Islamists have been searching for a way to end their campaign against US troops and Iraqi government forces since the January 30 election.

“Firstly, they want to ensure their own security,” says Sharif Ali, who last week hosted a pan-Sunni conference attended by tribal sheikhs and other local leaders speaking on behalf of the insurgents.

Insurgent leaders fear coming out into the open to talk for fear of being targeted by US military or Iraqi security forces' raids, he said.

Things may be wrapping down there. Many Sunni organizations and leaders now want in on the political process. The election really took a lot of steam out of the insurgency. If the home-grown insurgency ends, and we only have the easily identified foreigners, led by Zarqawi, to deal with, our job will be very much easier. The more his fight seems hopeless, the harder it will be for Zarqawi to recruit, and we will then have a mere low-level problem that the Iraqi security forces should be able to deal with, with only minimal help from us. We can concentrate on training new members of the security forces.

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