AMNESTY FOR THE INSURGENCY
KILLERS OF AMERICANS TO GO UNPUNISHED BY NEW IRAQI GOVERNMENT
"...there's no rule of warfare. It's just, if you can kill innocent life in order to shake somebody's will or create consternation in a society, just go ahead and do it." - President Bush
"American soldiers, Iraqi soldiers and Iraqi police are legitimate targets from the perspective of a certain kind of Iraqi patriot" - Tigerhawk (pro-Iraq War blogger)
"...this is the beginning of the end of al-Qaida in Iraq" - Iraq's National Security Adviser Mouwafak al-Rubaie
By DP Mason
US President Bush returned from Iraq yesterday with a bounce in his step because he knows something big. However, he's not quite ready to tell the world, just yet.
But here's a hint : The Iraq War is (almost) over.
Bush is not saying that, yet, because it's not the right time politically. Also, he's not going to get caught out again declaring something in Iraq is over when he's not a 100% absolutely sure that it is.
The fiasco of the 'Mission Accomplished' declaration, and the claim that "major combat operations" were finished after the fall of the Saddam Hussein regime in 2003 still stings Bush.
He is happy now because he's got a good story to sell. For the Coalition of the Willing, the War In Iraq is just about over. A declaration of victory by Bush is closer than it was a month ago, or even two weeks ago and the handover of the first provinces to Iraqi security begins next week.
Iraq Terrorist Number One, al-Zarqawi, is dead. And in death, he's supposedly allowed the US and the Iraqis to seize vital information that spells out virtually everything they need to know about Al Qaeda in Iraq.
And that's the big story, the good story for now.
Bush can claim they're clearing Al Qaeada out of Iraq. This is where the eventual claim of Victory in Iraq begins.
The death of al-Zarqawi has allowed Bush and the new Iraqi government to draw clear distinctions between the Iraqi Insurgency who fought against the occupying forces, and Al Qaeada In Iraq, who fought against the Iraqis and their government and the Coalition forces.
We have already been told that it was Al Qaeda in Iraq who was trying to start a civil war between the Sunnis and Shiites.
It will be vastly important to a declaration of victory by President Bush that a clear distinction is now drawn between the Iraqi Insurgency and Al Qaeda in Iraq.
Al Qaeda in Iraq, now its leader, al-Zarqawi, is dead is being cleaned up and cleared out by the Coalition and Iraqi forces.
That leaves the Iraqi Insurgency.
Yesterday both Iraqi government spokesmen and President Bush let it be known that an amnesty is going to be offerd to the Iraqi Insurgency, while Al Qaeda in Iraq can expect to be smashed and killed.
Bush was obviously told this was the new game plan by the Iraqi government when he flew into Baghdad on Tuesday. He knows how the next stage of the War will unfold, and now al-Zarqawi is dead, and an offer of amnesty is on the table for the insurgency, the next stage of the war should unfold like a movie script coming to life.
But there's a major sting in the tail.
What about the terrorists?
What happened to, "We Will Not Negotiate With Terorrists?"
Al Qaeda In Iraq were the terrorists.
The Iraqi Insurgency were/are....the Iraqi Insurgency.
Once again, as it has so often been the case during the 'War On Terror', it all comes down to the definition of what a terrorist actually is.
Starting now, 'terrorist' is going to be redefined again. A new version of 'terrorist' will be spun to fit in with the new spin.
But a year ago, all the disparate groups that made up the Iraqi Insurgency were terrorists. In the eyes of President Bush and Defence Secretary Rumsfeld there was no distinction to be drawn between a nationalist uprising against occupation, and foreign jihadists killing Iraqis.
They were all terrorists.
After all, the War On Iraq was/is "the central front of the War On Terror."
And Bush promised that there would never be any negotiations with any terrorists, ever.
But that was then, and this is now.
The spinning of a new definition of 'terrorist' for the Iraqi theatre of the world war began months ago. The lanugage illusionists of the White House knew it was time to start separating the foreign jihadists of Al Qaeada in Iraq, led by the foreigner al-Zarqawi, and the nationalist insurgent groups and gangs.
The Iraqi Insurgency weren't terrorists, no. They were a disjointed sprawl of pro-Saddamists, Baathists, Shiite militiamen, anti-democracy freedom haters and a handful of foreign fighters from Jordan, Iran and Saudi Arabia.
It was supposed to be confusing, of course. That was the idea.
Bush Co knew what was coming.
Thousands of Shiites were fighting the occupation forces from at least May, 2003. Shiite cleric Maqata al-Sadr was openly encouraging his men to fight, and kill, the Americans when they encrouched on his neighbourhoods.
But now a Shiite majority government rules Iraq and everything has changed.
The idea that the new government would haul thousands of their fellow Shiites into courts and onto the gallows for fighting and killing Americans is unthinkable.
Plus, Shiite militias are still killing dozens of Sunni Iraqis, and 'cleansing' towns and cities of their presence.
They can't be now labelled 'terrorists' and held to account for their crimes.
To keep the peace, Sunni and Shiite insurgents will be offered an amnesty, regardless of how many Americans and Brits they might have killed.
But the Sunnis who have killed their fellow Iraqis have been told not to expect any such amnesty. They will be classed alongside Al Qaeda in Iraq, and will be on the receiving end of "justice delivered".
The same is unlikely to apply for the Shiite death squads.
As far as the right wing blogosphere and Bush-loyal US media is concerned, the announcement of an amnesty for most of the Iraqi Insurgency is the kind of news that needs burying far below some real good news, regardless of how unlikely that news may actually be.
Good news like the story about how al-Zarqawi once again left behind a laptop absolutely crammed full of everything the US and Iraqis need to know about Al Qaeda In Iraq.
The Iraqi government has now started talking up the plans for the amnesty, to bring the greater part of the Iraqi Insurgency in from the cold and "into the political process".
For those who join up with the political process now, there is unlikely to be any Nuremberg-type trials, regardless of how many Americans the insurgents might have fragged in the past three years
There was plenty of that, of course. More than 17,000 Americans were killed, disabled or wounded, along with hundreds of Brits, Fijians and Italians.
Figuring in the psychological fallout over the next decade, the casuality figures for the 'Coalition of the Willing' could well reach 150,000, or more.
But, according to President Bush, on his return from Baghdad, that's all in the past.
We've got to think of the future now.
Bush will be the last person to inform his fellow Americans that the Iraqis who brutalised and killed their sons and daughters and fathers and uncles will not face justice.
Not suprisingly, Bush hasn't been able to bring himself to discuss an amnesty for 'former terrorists', now insurgency nationalsits.
He prefers to talk about "Reconciliation".
You know, like they had in South Africa after apartheid.
"I talked to the Prime Minister about -- his question is, possible amnesty. The Prime Minister I think would say "reconciliation." This is an issue that is on the minds of a lot of the folks there in Iraq. In other words, they're trying to figure out how to reconcile an ugly past with a hopeful future. And part of that is reconciliation."It's probably on the minds of many millions of Americans as well. But let's not go there :
That's Bush-speak for : "We won't be rounding up any terorrists the Iraqi government doesn't want us to."
"...And I think they're willing to balance the difference between terror and -- "expediency" isn't the right word, but terror and membership of a party to advance one's life. And I was impressed. I was impressed by their -- the sophisticated nature of that discussion and their recognition that it's really important to do the best they can to reconcile the past."
You can take "expediency" to now mean that a whole lot of Sunnis are going to now be killed.
Terrorist Is As Terrorist Does, used to be the definition. Now 'terrorist' in Iraq will mean whatever the Iraqi government wants it to mean. And you can expect that to mean a whole lot of Sunnis are going to be killed in the next few months.
This from a Fox News story today :
A top al-Maliki adviser said the plan could include pardons for those who had attacked U.S. troops. Adnan Ali al-Kadhimi said "there is a patriotic feeling among the Iraqi youth and the belief that those attacks are legitimate acts of resistance and defending their homeland. These people will be pardoned definitely, I believe."Fox News buried that headline-worthy paragraph halfway down a story about how the world's stupidest terrorist once again left a whole lot of vital information lying around his 'safe house', before it was blown up.
Fox News, of course, promoted themselves through 2003 as the 'War On Terror Network'.
They had a headline regarding Al Qaeda in Iraq that said 'Beginning Of The End', but they didn't think the fact that there will be an Amnesty For American-Killing Iraqi Terrorists was worthy of a headline, or even a lead paragraph.
Presumably, they will get around to informing Americans of that shocking news any moment now....or not.
One of the most popular and hardcore pro-Iraq War bloggers, Tigerhawk, is also one of the first to be brave enough to start the amnesty-conditioning for what will prove to the most bitter of pills for millions of Americans :
(The amnesty) is going to be tough for many Americans to swallow, but it will be both necessary and appropriate if an amnesty program turns out to be an effective means for bringing the insurgency in from the cold.When journalists like John Pilger said soon after the War began that American soldiers were legitimate targets for Iraqi nationalists, the right wing media and blogosphere were demanding his head on a pike.
American soldiers, Iraqi soldiers and Iraqi police are legitimate targets from the perspective of a certain kind of Iraqi patriot, and that perspective is probably popular enough that it will have to be included in any reconciliation of Iraq.
And anybody else - be they senator, television talking head or no-name blogger - who dared to say that Iraqis had a legitimate right to resist the occupation of their country were labelled traitors and treasonous They were accused of giving aid and comfort to Al Qaeda and not supporting the troops.
That was then. This is now.
At least Tigerhawk has the balls to come out and tell the truth now the War On Iraq, at least as far as President Bush's version of it is concerned, is coming to an end.
It will be very interesting to see how the thousands of other pro-war bloggers and journos and columnists who demanded the US invade Iraq, and for all those opposed to shut up and die, will now spin the news of the Insurgency Amnesty.
As long as the killing in Iraq stops and the true rebuilding of the shattered country, and the shattered lives of its people, finally begins.
Those who demanded everyone Support The Troops, when everyone already supported the troops, should now be expected to lead the crusade to make sure the injured, the disabled and the mentally scarred and traumatised soldiers who fought in Iraq get every bit of care and help they need to get better.
And there are more than a few hundred thousand American soldiers alone who are going to need the pro-war crowd to fight on on their behalf, to make sure they get everything they deserve for doing their job. Whether that's the most modern of prosthetic limbs, or mental health support or plastic surgery to rebuild heavy scar tissue.
There are also thousands of Brits and Italians who will need care and help as well, and they should not be forgotten.
While Australia has suffered virtually no physical casualties amongst their serving soldiers, at least 100 have been medically discharged on psychological grounds since the War On Iraq began.
All the Australian bloggers, the columnists and the radio talkback hosts who demanded the War On Iraq should now be expected to complete their missions by doing everything they can to make sure the soldiers they claimed to support so vehemntly will get the help and care they now need to recover from their experiences in the war.
It would be a true tragedy to see Australian veterans of the Iraq War be abandoned like so many Vietnam veterans were during the 1970s and 1980s, and right up to today.
Supporting the War doesn't end when President Bush declares victory. It ends when every soldier who fought the War, and every family who lost a soldier, are looked after and given the support they all need.
For the pro-war crowd to now not fight on for those who did their duty would be the ultimate in hypocrisy.
BACK TO IRAQ NEWS
Meanwhile, a Sunni powerhouse leader, who President Bush has acknowledged wouldn't even take his phone calls a year ago, is already laying down the law on the way it's going to be in Iraq, from now on :
Iraq's Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi has asked US President George W. Bush for a timeline for the withdrawal of foreign forces from Iraq, the presidential office said.
Al-Hashimi made the request during his meeting with Bush on Tuesday, when the US president made a surprise visit to Iraq.
"I supported him in this," President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, said in a statement released Wednesday.
And just in case there is some need for a little more War In Iraq, there's this news :
It's time to meet the New Boss of Al Qaeda in Iraq. And he's not the same as the Old Boss.
If he was hand-picked by bin Laden, however, he could be an Iraqi, since the al-Qaeda founder wants to mend the rifts within the Iraqi insurgency created under Zarqawi, who was bent on fomenting sectarian warfare between Sunnis and Shi'ites.
DOH! Al-ZARQAWI LEFT BEHIND ANOTHER DATABASE FULL OF VALUABLE INFORMATION
Al-Zarqawi is dead, and luckily he left behind a big fat database with all kinds of information that has already proven to be extremely valuable for the Americans and the new Iraqi government.
This is, of course, the second time al-Zarqawi has been so stupid as to keep logistical details of his operations, and even his fighters, in a computer database.
With his inability to keep his secret databases out of America's hands, or to fire guns, or to keep his physical appearance anonymous, you've got to wonder how the Zarkster managed to be as effective for the Al Qaeda kill-frenzy cause as he proved to be. It is also, then, remarkable that he managed to operate so openly in Iraq, for some four years, without being caught until last week.
According to the Iraqi government, thanks to al-Zarqawi, they've now got their hands on just about all they need to know about Al Qaeda In Iraq so as to crush it completely.
Names, addresses, phone numbers, battle plans, bomb-making recipes and even hard details of a long-term plan of al-Zarqawi's to force a war between the US and Iran.
And it was all just waiting to be found inside al-Zarqawi's safe house. Some terrorist mastermind. The guy was obviously a moron :