Wednesday, December 05, 2007

I read the news today, o boy

There is an interesting world-turned-upside-down character to the Iraq news today (Wednesday Dec 5), which beckons us to pay attention.

The Mubarak administration in Egypt, the sickest man in the Arab-regime hospital, has suddenly become a diplomatic powerhouse, laying the groundwork for a meeting in Cairo in January on Iraqi national reconciliation (although the only party mentioned in this Al-Masryoun article as invitee that isn't one of the GreenZone political parties is AMSI and arguably the Sadrists). It is making sure regional Arab regimes support this, and so on and so forth.

And Abdulaziz al-Hakim, leader of the SIIC and the (Maliki-loyalist remains of the UIA) made statements in Washington praising Saudi Arabia for its efforts in supporting the Sunni awakening-councils in Iraq. Azzaman describes this as noteworthy because it is the first-ever praise from the UIA leader for the Saudi administration.

Egypt the powerful regional broker, and Saudi the great friend of the Shiite-controlled GreenZone? The whole implausibility of it suggests that Condi has finally corralled Egypt and Saudi into some kind of a joint public effort to try and support the GreenZone "political process".

Meanwhile the Dead Sea meetings of last month, arranged by State Department big-name Richard Murphy, and which did reportedly include some form of representation from those outside of the "political process", and even talk of a six-month truce with the resistance, in other words reconciliation in the potentially meaningful sense, have disappeared down the memory-hole, with no one in Washington (I will be corrected if I am wrong) having bothered to elicit so much as a "no comment" from Murphy about this event and its meaning. So there's a question mark there.

And AQI? In the latest reported statement by Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, considered an American stooge by the Baathists, and a fictitious person by the Americans (only a slight difference of opinion there), makes him sound like nothing so much as an exasperated brokerage-firm sales director. He calls for a special campaign to last until January 29, and he says "everyone should blow up at least three bombs by the end of the campaign period". (That is the part quoted in all three summaries I have seen, in two pan-Arab papers and BBC Arabic; I haven't listened to the tape and I don't think there is a transcript). [Actually there is a transcript, which now I'll have to read...]He wants people to target the "rebels" (his jargon for the Iraqi security agencies) the "awakenings", and all who cooperate with the occupation, but perhaps oddly not mentioning the Americans themselves. In any event, this numerical-results approach is certainly the opposite of the charismatic-type appeal you would expect from a bona fide jihadi leader.

Meanwhile, Azzaman (same link as above) adds that the Sadrists are warning against any attempt to set up an "awakening" type system in Basra, where this would apparently amount to a Shiite version of the concept, strengthening SIIC and the GreenZone forces against the Sadrists and pouring fuel on that fire.

So: The yes-men in Cairo and Riyadh seem to be on board for some kind of a GreenZone "reconciliation", perhaps only surprising because it took so long to arrange. But rather than this movement having produced warm feelings of rapprochement on the part of the Sadrists, for instance, the latter are warning of new tensions with the spread of the "awakening" movement to Basra.


Blogger Helena Cobban said...

Badger, I'm glad you've been on all these cases all this time. A few addenda:

(1) Cairo is not only hosting this apparent Iraqi reconciliation confab but also a Darfur one, ditto, in the days ahead. A question: Is it really Mubarak doing all this diplomacy? Another question: Why don't they do more on Palestine?

(2) Murphy is not a current State Dept type but a long-retired diplomat who has been making mega-$$ w/ Kissinger Associates for nigh these many years past and also getting respectability thru some sort of gig with the Council on foreign Relations.

(3) Maybe the Arab regimes do judge that now is the high-point of political power w/in Iraq for their friends and proteges, hence the optimal time to cut a deal (and while there are still inflated levels of US forces there, too.) I imagine Moqtada and others would judge this not the optimal time to make the deal.

(4) Obviously the numerous recent non-trivial bombings should also be taken into consideration...

(5) A final point: so long as the Turks are threatening the north, the willingness of the thousands of Pesh Merga who have been relabelled as Iraqi Army units and sent to Baghdad to support the surge, to stay in place in Baghdad rather than rushing back home, has to be in serious question.

4:21 PM  
Blogger badger said...

Thank you kindly.

On (1) I'll take a guess and say not Mubarak but his intelligence chief Suleiman.

(2) I knew Murphy was retired and something to do with the CFR, but I didn't know he had been raking it in with Kissinger Assoc. Creates kind of a different image, doesn't it?

(3-5) These strategic issues are over my pay-scale, maybe at some point you could write up your thoughts on that whole picture

4:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Badger, I am not at all surprised by any of this. It has been obvious for some time that oh so noble and virtuous AMSI has become a key player in a grand conspiracy masterminded by Condi Rice and America’s Arab clients. In this context it is worth rereading the following report, which outlines a series of arguably treasonous demands contained in a memo from Harith Al-Dhari to US National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley in response to a plea from Condi Rice for help in “ending the Resistance” – not ending the occupation!!!!: (reviewed by you here:

While Rice’s initiative did not yield immediate results, it provides the key to many developments that have taken place in the last year, including the precipitate liquidation of President Saddam Hussein. I am convinced that the US have been pressuring Maliki to implement Al-Dhari’s secret programme of capitulation and collaboration, including the re-hiring of ex-Ba’athist military personnel, the repeal of the de-Ba’athifications laws, and significantly, the legalisation of a SURROGATE, COLLABORATIONIST Ba’ath party, led by that unprincipled usurper, Mohammed Younis Al-Ahmed. I also surmise that the US warned Maliki that he would be replaced by Allawi if he dragged his feet for too long.

Just as Mohammed Younis Al-Ahmed attempted to hijack the leadership of the Ba’ath Party, AMSI has hijacked the leadership of the Resistance, in fact, not just the leadership, but the whole Resistance project. It has been obvious for some time that there is an understanding and division of labour between between the Resistance factions affiliated with AMSi and/or M.Y. Al-Ahmed – the ones favoured by the Guardian newspaper! – and the Awakening forces affiliated with Allawi and the IIP/Accordance Front. Another article, published on Conflicts Forum in May (see:
reveals that the so-called Jihad & Reform Front (now part of the recently formed Political Council of the Iraqi Resistance) not only aimed to fight Al-Qaeda “in order to regain…credibility among the people” but also to “marginalize the more extreme elements INSIDE the resistance itself.”

These radical elements INSIDE the Resistance include the Arab Ba’ath Socialist Party (Iraq Leadership) and their principled allies (including Abdul Jabbar Al-Kubaysi’s IPA) in the JIHAD AND LIBERATION FRONT, who remain fully committed to the Ba’ath Programme of Liberation and Independence: The Jihad & Liberation Front is now the only genuinely patriotic Resistance front, the only one not to have swallowed the American bait, either directly or indirectly. However, it has been squeezed and targeted by multiples sides, by Takfiri moles, by Awakening militias and by the henchmen of usurper M. Younis Al-Ahmed in Syrian intelligence. (Not to mention US and Iraqi quisling government forces!)It has also been the victim of an utterly repugnant disinformation / smear campaign in which oh so noble and virtuous AMSI has also participated via the venomous serpents at the so-called Newsdesk Helsinki Finland.

3:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Badger, I have not been able to find a transcript (English or Arabic) of the new speech by Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, but you say one is available. I have seen only a summary at What else is out there? Can you provide the link? Thanks!

4:35 PM  
Blogger badger said...

it's here

4:45 PM  
Blogger badger said...

Btw thanks for the worldanalysis mention. It's good and I wasn't aware of it.

4:51 PM  

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