Sunday, February 08, 2009


The quotation marks in the following excerpt were put there by the AlHayat journalist, not by me. The piece is in this morning's paper (Sunday, Feb 8), and it represents roll-out of the politically-correct version of the "renewed reconciliation" story (see prior post). He writes:
The government of Iraq is intent on utilizing the "change" [the journalist's quotation marks] brought about by the results of the local elections in Sunni areas, in order to renew the initiatives for reconciliation with armed groups, and convince former officers, now living in neighboring countries, to return to the army or to take compensation for the termination of their service. And there are stepped-up communications between political powers respecting alliances, in spite of the complaints by some parties about the results of the elections. The Electoral Commission stressed that all of the complaints that it has seen so far do not rise to the level of violations that could effect the final outcome.
The vice-chairman of the parliamentary committee on security and defense said the results of the local elections have speeded up this type of talks with armed groups, and this means that "political stability should lead to security-stability in Northern and Western areas", now that there has been voting. And a Dawa party official said the results of such talks are already positive, and "many of these groups have agreed to lay down their arms and join the political process". The journalist adds:
In political circles, people are busying themselves with the initial results and preparing to form alliances, and the Electoral Commission stresses that, in all areas, when entities receive the highest percentage of votes, that doesn't mean that they will have hegemony there, adding that final results will be announced in two weeks.
This is the first mass-circulation paper to report on the "renewed reconciliation" theme in connection with the elections, and it is worth noting a couple of the propaganda points:

(1) The role of US pressure via Biden has been dropped from the story; and

(2) The Electoral Commission has assured everyone that no matter what the complaints about election-fixing, they don't threaten the official results, so people can go ahead and do their "formation of alliances" procedures without worrying about the results being overturned.

I confidently predict that now that the story has been licked into shape in this way, this "renewed reconciliation" theme will now become a staple conversation piece in polite Washington circles.


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