Constant's pations

If it's more than 30 minutes old, it's not news. It's a blog.

Monday, November 27, 2006

White House Sham Terms With Iraqi Insurgents

Old news repackaged as something new doesn't add up. Especially when it doesn't add up.

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Some claim to have the inside scoop on the insurgent demands in Iraq. The problem with the list is that it’s contrary to what the insurgency hopes to achieve: Withdrawal of American forces.

We judge the list is a precursor to a US backed coup in Iraq, as a last ditch effort to contain the civil war, impose martial law. Caution is advised on the list. We'll know more later; it's too soon to gauge whether the terms are real.

It remains to be understood how the White House is using the speculative list of negotiating points to create the illusion that it has forced the insurgency to do something; or otherwise secured an agreement to terms which were never at issue.

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Ref News of revelations US discussing issues with insurgents is old news.

There are a few problems with the language, suggesting we're not getting the full picture who is proposing the terms.

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Absurd US Positions

Calling for the US troops to remain in Iraq isn't a serious proposal by or to the insurgents: they want the US out. This is a nonstarter "as proposed by a source within the Green Zone" (whatever that means):
A Status of Forces agreement would be negotiated immediately permitting the presence of American troops in Iraq for as long as ten years. Troop reductions and redeployments would be permitted over time. Ref

This clause sounds more like wishful thinking by the State Department and CIA, not by a credible leader of the insurgency.

There’s another agenda floating around:
An even more realistic position, though not yet an acceptable one, is that of former CIA director John Deutch, calling for an American troop withdrawal combined with a diplomatic initiative to Iran, seeking non-intervention by Teheran in exchange for the US leaving.Ref

When combined with the promise of the insurgents to put down their arms, and the request that Iran not intervene, there's hardly a reason for the US to remain in Iraq. The request, and the list, doesn't sound credible.

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The talks have been underway for sometime. The language above doesn't seem sold enough to justify confidence that these are serious proposals from the insurgents. The information could easily be from the White House, offering a "term" that is subsequently changed to 'give the White House a win."

The White House could feasibly concoct any sort of agenda or list of proposals, and publicly claim they've forced the insurgents to do something or agree to something surprising; or prevented them from getting a request.

Unless the talks are public, there's no way to know what the White House is really dealing with.

The information is likely floated to test the public response to the terms, and evaluate whether people are paying attention to what is being proposed. The apparent blind acceptance of the negotiation points, without apparent question, suggests that the disclosures are in their infancy.

The question going forward is whether the terms of the American surrender will be publicly debated, or silently accepted.

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Notice What is Not Covered

War crimes prosecutions, and holding US troops to account for illegal conduct. Why would the insurgency give up their original point -- demand for the US withdrawal -- but be silent on whether the remaining troops are or are not being held to account for the civilian deaths in Iraq.

Also not talking about the civil war. Far too convenient.

Not discussion on regional discussions by Syria or Iraq. Convenient if you want to deny Iran credit for assisting. Definitely in the US interests to do this.

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Based on the May 2005 revelations, it does not appear it is credible that anything has started "now," but has been going on for some time.

The other problem with this list is that its floating around without the ISG recommendations being finalized. That smells. A credible way forward would be for the ISG recommendations to have been finalized after the secret agreements had been concluded.

___ What happens, after the ISG recommendations are modified, the original terms in the "secret agreements" are turned upside down?

This isn't making sense. The timing is off. This sounds more like some deliberate misleading terms to confuse the public, start a debate. Very poorly managed, then again we're dealing with The Defeater.

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The source is supposedly a contractor. Who, someone working placing media propaganda, someone who is driving trucks and getting shot at?

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Comments on Supposed List

Here's the list with commentary:

Leaders of the organized resistance groups are seeking immediate meetings with top American generals towards the goal of a cease-fire. Ref

They don't want an end to fighting, they just want a meeting. This isn't news. The meetings already started.

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Meetings with lower-level US officials already have occurred.

No information on what they've discussed. They could have driven by each other waving without stopping. This is meaningless. Anyone could say this. Sounds like something a propagandist working for CENTCOM would say: It's filler.

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Indicator of US Coup Preparations

This doesn't sound good:

The resistance groups reject the ability of the al-Maliki government to unify its government, and therefore wants an interim government imposed before new elections can be held. Ref

This sounds like a US-generated term to justify a coup. The US, not the locals, have an interest in putting Maliki in a bad spot. Ref

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The former Baathist-dominated national army, intelligence services and police, whose leaders currently are heading the underground resistance, would be rehired, restored and re-integrated into national structures under this plan. Ref

Possibly valid. What will oversee them to ensure the civil war doesn't continue?

Note "this plan", as opposed to other plans which are floating around? Yes.

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Multinational Force [MNF-I] activities aimed at controlling militias to be expanded. Ref

Read: More troops, and a draft? Get real. Impossible: US has no troops to support this term as it is, not to mention the inabilty to support full combat requirements in Afghanistan. This say snothing of the non-existent political support required for a draft.

Even if the term was supported, it's physically impossible to support it. [ Discussion ]

This is pre-ISG-language.

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The US-controlled Multi-National Force [MNF-I] would be redeployed to control the eastern border with Iran. Ref

Since when was the "non-problem of Iran" suddenly an issue? This doesn't sound right. There's nothing stopping the US from going to the UN with evidence that Iran is doing something it shouldn't.

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A Status of Forces agreement would be negotiated immediately permitting the presence of American troops in Iraq for as long as ten years. Ref

Definitely a US-interest. The insurgents want the US out now, not "maybe in 10 years."

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Troop reductions and redeployments would be permitted over time. Ref

Iraqis want them out now. What will this do for the civil war?

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Getting the sense that this list is old, outdated, invalid, and not linked with something real. The terms are in their infancy, not consistent with the known talks that have been publicly reported as having started well before May 2006, more than 6 months ago. This term doesn't sound like its linked with discussions that have been underway for six months:

Amnesty and prisoner releases would be negotiated between the parties, with the Americans guaranteeing the end of torture of those held in the detention centers and prisons of the current, Shiite-controlled Iraqi state. Ref

Notice the use of "torture," despite Geveva forbidding abuse. Discussion This sounds like an effort to stir up the debate of, "Whether this is or isn't torture," not address the legal issues of unlawful abuse and war crimes.

Curious: "The end of torture" suggests the US is still doing something. Wow, Addington must be rolling. He didn't want to admit there had been a problem, or a change as this would have admitted that the original conduct was illegal. [ Details ]

One doesn't negotiate amnesty or prisoner release -- it is granted. either it's given or it's not.

___ Why is the US, not the Iraqi government that is sovereign, involved in who is or isn't released from prison?

This makes no sense. Iraq is in charge, in theory; but the US is required to provide security, as per Geneva.

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De-Baathification edicts issued by Paul Bremer would be rescinded, allowing tens of thousands of former Baathists to resume military and professional service. Ref

The US has already admitted this was flawed. This isn't making sense.

___ Wasn't this term ignored, and former Iraqis permitted to return to posts? If this is a valid term for "this plan," suggests "this plan" is outdated, and there have been other versions after the changes in Iraq.

Recall, Bush likes to use the word “Baathists”. Who in Iraq would use a word the President likes?

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Can't Continue What Hasn’t Started

This one sound like a PR-ploy for the White House:

An American commitment to financing reconstruction would be continued, and the new Iraqi regime would guarantee incentives for private American companies to participate in the rebuilding effort. Ref

___ Where is Iraq going to get the money for "incentives"?

One of the motivations for the insurgency, the failure of the US to create jobs and give Iraqis something to do, not supported by this proposal -- to provide jobs to non-Iraqis.

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This sounds like a red herring away from the President's bungled disaster and financial bungling:

War-debt relief for Kuwait and other countries. Ref

That war was over 10 years ago.

___ Who in Iraq is concerned about something that happened in Kuwait, one of the richest countries in the Middle East? This doesn't sound like a credible request. The UAE or Dubai could have easily have assisted Kuwait.

___ What "other countries" want debt relief after "the war"? Kuwait was the only one invaded, unless Saudi Arabia or Turkey wants something for their war-support.

___ Does the US have unpaid bills from the 1991 Gulf War? Irrelevant, and the insurgents could care less about Kuwait. They may have been part of Saddam's invading force into Kuwait City. Many Arabs hate Kuwaitis, who are viewed as arrogant.

___ Given there's been no thorough accounting/auditing for this war, who's in a position to say with any precision what has or hasn't happened by way of payments? Sounds like noise.

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The list isn't valid, has been leaked as disinformation, the real negotiations are something else, and the ISG recommendations are not consistent with these terms. Too many important issues aren't mentioned; and the overall list isn't consistent with legitimate Iraqi interests.

Most likely this list is a straw man, and the actual terms are different. The change will be orchestrated to put the White House in the best position. At worst, this list is a red herring and distraction from the US coup plans against the Iraqi government.

At this juncture, the US cannot credibly be concerned with a cease fire: Iraq is in a civil war. There's nobody who will honor the agreement, must less speak for either side of the civil war. A real agreement requires all the players, not simply one side of the insurgency. This isn't adding up. Something else is going to jump soon, and quick.