Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Badger goes out on a limb

The prior post reflects newspaper reports of Monday Oct 15. Today, Tuesday Oct 16, Al-Hayat puts the results this way:
Ammar al-Hakim, the son of the SIIC leader, failed to convince Sunni tribal leaders to fight for the establishment of a federal region in [western] Iraq. The Anbar Awakening Council, which includes those tribal leaders, said it rejects federalism utterly and completely [literally "in its details and in its entirety"]. ...

In Anbar, Sheikh Ali al-Hatem, head of the General Council of Arab and Iraqi Tribes, which is the political wing of the Anbar Awakening Council, told Al-Hayat that "Sheikh Ahmad abu Risha (head of the Iraq Awakening) is not able to take any decision without reference to the major parties," adding that "the proposal by SIIC to fight for the implementation of federalism in the country is not acceptable, and it cannot be proposed at the present time, because those clauses in the Constitution which talk about federalism were decided on by the Americans, and not by Iraqis," and he added that the Anbar Awakening Council completely and utterly rejects the proposal."
My italics, for this reason: The defining characteristic of the Sunni political parties and the other "reconcilables", as opposed to the Sunni resistance, is that the former group has bought into a political process that was set up under American auspices. The Sunni resistance demands not only an end to the occupation, but also an end to all of the political trappings that the Americans brought with them. Where the factions differ is with respect to how to go about reconstituting a political system once the Americans are out. So when Ali al-Hatem tells the Al-Hayat reporter is that their rejection of the SIIC proposal is based on their rejection of that part of the "American" constitution, he is in effect taking a position closer to that of the resistance than to any of the Sunni political parties.

Given that this Anbar group is supposed by Washington and the corporate media establishment to be a model of a "reconciliable" movement, this could be tough to explain away. I therefore confidently predict this is therefore not going to be a big media story, in spite of its importance.

(The rest of this Al-Hayat story rehashes: Sadr movement criticizes the SIIC idea as a cozying up to the Americans; SIIC officially denies this has anything to do with the Biden congressional resolution; and as for the SIIC account of the Anbar meetings, an official is quoted as insisting abu Risha personally seemed positive about the SIIC idea and didn't reject it, but declined to take a clear position).