Thursday, November 02, 2006

Maliki unhappy with progress toward US talks with the resistance

A week ago Al-Quds al-Arabi reported on the formation of a 25-person council to bring together the various parts of the national resistance, including Islamic Army, leaders of the National Patriotic Alliance and so on. Today Al-Hayat reports on the establishment of what appears to be an even broader version of the common-front idea. It says that as a result of intense discussions in the last few days, culminating in talks in Amman that included Iraqi and American officials as well as armed opposition groups, Baathists, tribal people and others, the collection of opposition groups has agreed on the necessity of forming a unified "political council" in order to get ready for the start of "official negotiations with American officials".

The report adds that Prime Minister Maliki has been unhappy with this process, because it involves the Americans opening channels of communication with the resistance that doesn't include the government. And the reporter said it was this dissatisfaction that led Maliki recently to order the lifting of various blockades and checkpoints, not only the (highly-publicized) case of Sadr City, but also in the Karradah district of Baghdad and elsewhere. These were areas thought to be harboring death-squads and the like. A source close to Maliki told the Al-Hayat reporter that Maliki made these decisions unilaterally, contradicting reports that said this was coordinated with the Americans.

Separately, the Islamic Army reported on its website the successful testing of a grount-to-ground rocket with a range of 20 km and capacity to carry 20 kg of explosives, adding it has named the rocket Abir, after the girl from Mahmudia who was raped and killed by American soldiers.


Blogger badger said...

thanks for the interesting note. I think that could be part of it, maybe a big part of it, and certainly its a problem if he is suppressing people's comments about it. But I notice another problem too, and that is he seems to deliberately shy away from saying anything about the main lines of US political strategy. The topic this morning was very, very important in the evolution of the whole thing, and all he does is muddy the waters so people can't understand what the US is up to. He's done that before. It's a problem.

9:14 PM  

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