Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Iraqi Defense Minister Sadun al-Dulaimi has come under fire for suggesting massacres of those who support the insurgency, including women and children. What's left unsaid is that harsh measures are sometimes the only way to crush an insurgency that has grassroots support. You need to erode the base of support, and fear is one way to do that.

There's another idea on the table. People who claim to represent the seven largest opposition groups want to negotiate with the United States. The idea as it stands won't happen, as they want an end to fighting first, though the U.S. is pressuring the Iraqi government to accept negotiations with insurgents at this weekend's Cairo summit. But why shouldn't we consider some sort of truce to allow negotiations ourselves? There's at least one country we pressure to do exactly that, and the issues involved in Iraq are far less emotional than the status of Temple Mount. As the insurgent leaders insist, they are not Zarqawi.

There is, of course, plenty of ground between these two options, but they do represent two general directions in which we can go. I for one am not interested in waging a war against the Sunni population of Iraq over internal Iraqi political grievances. What I want is to involve them in the political process and work toward ending the chaos which allows Zarqawi and his ilk to function. Given that, I have definite preferences for which way I'd start heading.


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