Sunday, February 20, 2005

Amazing Patience

I must say that the Shia in Iraq are showing amazing patience and a willingness to hold back on reprisals toward the Sunni facions. The Sunni Ba'athists have caused havoc in the country as has the "foreign" terrorists but for possibly different reasons. The "foreign" jihadists have been doing everything they can to cause a sectarian civil war and until recently the Sunni Ba'athists have been willing participants, but this seems to be changing. This AP report gives a glimpse into the thinking process of some Sunni.

"We made a big mistake when we didn't vote," said Sheik Hathal Younis Yahiya, 49, a representative from northern Nineveh. "Our votes were very important."
He said threats from insurgents — not sectarian differences — kept most Sunnis from voting...
Gathering in a central Baghdad hotel, about 70 tribal leaders from the provinces of Baghdad, Kirkuk, Salaheddin, Diyala, Anbar and Nineveh, tried to devise a strategy for participation in a future government. There was an air of desperation in some quarters of the smoke-filled conference room.

"When we said that we are not going to take part, that didn't mean that we are not going to take part in the political process. We have to take part in the political process and draft the new constitution," said Adnan al-Duleimi, the head of Sunni Endowments...

Meanwhile, a powerful Sunni organization believed to have ties with the insurgents sought Sunday to condemn the weekend attacks that left nearly 100 Iraqis dead.
"We won't remain silent over those crimes which target the Iraqi people Sunnis or Shiites, Islamic or non-Islamic," Sheik Harith al-Dhari, of the Association Muslim Scholars, told a news conference.

Reuters also has this story including links to a Time Magazine article.

U.S. diplomats and intelligence officers are conducting secret talks with Iraq (news - web sites)'s Sunni insurgents on ways to end fighting there, Time magazine reported on Sunday, citing Pentagon (news - web sites) and other sources.

The magazine cited a secret meeting between two members of the U.S. military and an Iraqi negotiator, a middle-aged former member of Saddam Hussein (news - web sites)'s regime and the senior representative of what he called the nationalist insurgency.

A U.S. officer tried to get names of other insurgent leaders while the Iraqi complained the new Shi'ite-dominated government was being controlled by Iran, according to an account of the meeting provided by the Iraqi negotiator.

"We are ready to work with you," the Iraqi negotiator said, according to Time.

Iraqi insurgent leaders not aligned with al Qaeda ally Abu Mousab al-Zarqawi told the magazine several nationalist groups composed of what the Pentagon calls "former regime elements" have become open to negotiating.

The insurgents said their aim was to establish a political identity that can represent disenfranchised Sunnis.

As some guy once said...Developing.