June 28, 2006

Huge: 11 "Insurgent" Groups Offer Ceasefire In Exchange For Two-Year Timetable For US Withdrawal
— Ace

I've got news for these idiots. If they weren't attacking US troops and Iraqi citizens, we'd have been out of there a year and a half ago. Their attacks and terrorism aren't driving us out of Iraq; they're keeping us there.

So I don't see a downside, assuming this is a legitimate offer and they can and will stop attacks. And give up the remaining Al Qaedaists in their midst.

Eleven Sunni insurgent groups have offered to halt attacks on the U.S.-led military if the Iraqi government and President Bush set a two-year timetable for withdrawing all foreign troops from the country, insurgent and government officials told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

The demand is part of a broad offer from the groups, who operate north of Baghdad in the heavily Sunni Arab provinces of Salahuddin and Diyala. Although much of the fighting has been to the west, those provinces have become increasingly violent and the attacks there have regularly crippled oil and commerce routes.

Unfortunately, the groups do not represent all insurgents:

The groups do not include the powerful Islamic Army in Iraq, Muhammad Army and the Mujahedeen Shura Council, the umbrella label for eight militant groups including al-Qaida in Iraq. But the new offer comes at a time when Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government is reaching out to militant Sunnis, including a new amnesty plan for insurgent fighters.

Al-Maliki, in remarks broadcast on national television Wednesday, did not issue an outright rejection of the timetable demand but said it was unrealistic because he could not be certain when the Iraqi army and police would be strong enough to assume full responsibility for the country's security.

Bush's "lack of a plan" seems to be working.

Thanks to Brett.

Posted by: Ace at 09:50 AM | Comments (32)
Post contains 317 words, total size 2 kb.

1 Oh, God. Please, please, please Iraqi government, step away from the treacherous Kool-Aid!
I have to disagree with Ace on this one... seems too much like something Jimmy Carter* would come up with. Oslo, anyone?

Does anyone really trust these goons to lay down their arms? Isn't it a lot more likely that they'll pull a PLO, use the time to rearm, and then set about the destruction of a still-fairly-young Iraqi democracy?

Let's think... if, as we've been told, the majority of insurgents (or at least a large proportion of them) are not Iraqis but foreign-born, it seems unlikely that their real goal is the "liberation" of Iraq from the occupying Americans. It seems more likely that their goal is the one they have, er, stated - jihad. I'm sure they would love to have us out of the way.

This is cut-and-walk, pure and simple. Ask Israel how well negotiating with terrorists has worked out, as they pull Gaza apart. Such is the wages of negotiating with terrorists.

How short our memories.
This is not a plan. It is elaborate national suicide on the part of the Iraqis.

* History's greatest monster

Posted by: jdubious at June 28, 2006 09:58 AM (Vjk2Q)

2 I think a timetable makes this a non-starter. The Sunnis have manifestly been losing, their last stronghold in Ramadi is surrounded and being squeezed. The Iranians have since January been funneling equipment and expertise to Shiite street toughs because they calculated we had defeated the Sunnis. This plan doesn;t address that problem.

This looks like US Forces rolling up to the outskirts of Berlin and accepting withdraw terms from Hitler in his bunker with a gun to his head. And withdrawing to allow the Soviets (Iran) complete control of Germany(Iraq).

I'm all for reconciliation but on terms that make sense and my initial take is that leaving in two years is a mistake. Total withdraw? We haven’t totally withdrawn from Germany yet.

Posted by: American Barbarian at June 28, 2006 09:59 AM (5Xp8h)

3 It looks like the Sunni jihad groups are finally realizing that they cannot win. The would have happened a lot sooner if our media and the Democrats hadn't spend the last three years telling everyone that they were winning and calling for American withdrawal. It gave them false hope.

Posted by: sandy burger at June 28, 2006 10:18 AM (Uuy++)

4 Two years is a long time. The Iraqi forces would have that much more time to build up themselves and if the terrorists attacked (or were caught stockpiling weapons etc.) then the US & Iraqi gov't could simply have the US troops stay longer.

This seems like a good event to me.

Posted by: This&That at June 28, 2006 10:19 AM (MSMPS)

5 JDubious, the first response above, could not be more right.

NEVER give the enemy information. This is bait, plain and simple, and anyone who takes it is an idiot. They will absolutely lay low for two years and then pick right back up where they left off, and they will be even more dangerous than before. At that point, mass killings in Iraq that could only be rivaled by Saddam Hussein, will occur.

Under no circumstances should this offer be taken seriously. They have to straighten up their act first; then we can leave.

Posted by: Cary from Houston at June 28, 2006 10:22 AM (AhCOe)

6 This offer is just the Terrorists trying to win without actually winning. Just like Kos's moral victories in election after election.

Its like getting beaten up by someone and then boasting how his hands must be hurting.

Posted by: Tushar D at June 28, 2006 10:22 AM (h76y6)

7 #1. The presidents plan has always been working. Don't tell the dim-wits.

#2. Pootin ordered the Russian special forces to track down the terrorists that murdered the Russians in Iraq this week.

Guess the terrorist leaders really stepped in it this week. First the P.O.'s the world by slaughtering two American soldiers. Then they got Russia involved (by slaughtering Russian civilians) in a war they had tried to stay out of because weapons (including WMD) they provided illegally to Saddam are still being used against the allied forces.
Guess the terrorists and their supporters still have Iran to hide in, for a few days anyway. I expect Iran to become the land of melted/shattered glass any day.

Posted by: Scrapiron at June 28, 2006 10:23 AM (Ffvoi)

8 They're lying. Terrorists do that, ya know.

When a terrorist offers a cease fire, it should be translated as, "Our side is losing, so we're going to get you to stop killing us long enough for us to build up again and take another shot at it. Too bad for you that you're so civilized and trustworthy, eh? Maybe if you weren't, you wouldn't fall for this every...frickin'...time."

Once again, everyone...

These terrorists want to KILL US. Each and every single one of us. They will never, ever stop trying until either we are dead or they are. A cease fire is not a surrender to them, it's a stategy.

Posted by: bbeck at June 28, 2006 10:28 AM (qF8q3)

9 I bet Ho Chi Min would have liked a solid timetable too. He would have lost fewer troops.

Posted by: Sue Dohnim at June 28, 2006 10:29 AM (rE+jU)

Something like could work, but only if certain conditions are met *before* the two-year timetable kicks in.

Basically there would have to be, say a year, of relative peace and stability before a long slow withdraw takes place. And if the feedback you get from indigenous forces isn't good, you push back the start of the drawdown until Iraqi forces feel confident.

Posted by: Asher at June 28, 2006 10:37 AM (88XUY)

11 Downside=fewer dead "insurgents".

Posted by: slatz at June 28, 2006 10:39 AM (xG58s)

12 "Two years is a long time."

It's a long time *for us*, by *our* standards. For batshit-crazy Sunni terrorists, it's nothing. It's "The government and the Americans stop shooting at us, and in two years, we take over!"

Granted, I don't think they actually *would* be able to take over, but they'd probably be able to do a lot of damage, and maybe set off that civil war they're always yammering about, given that we'd bugged out.

Posted by: David C at June 28, 2006 10:45 AM (9DumO)

13 Reacting only to the headline, I'd make a counter offer that states 3 years. Allowing the new president of the US a year in office before it happens.

Posted by: Defense Guy at June 28, 2006 10:48 AM (jPCiN)


Posted by: John Murtha at June 28, 2006 10:54 AM (AQGeh)

15 Followup thought.

If we're committed to staying two years, why not spend it, oh, say, killing off bunches of terrorists?

If we're in a position of strength now, imagine what two years of continued successes could provide.

Let's not mistake the enemy's offer here as lack of initiative; confronted with a deteriorating tactical and strategic situation, he opens up on the psyop front, targeting OUR weakness, i.e., our war-weariness and our (completely justified and deserved) solicitude for our fighting men and women.

This proposal is not a surrender, it is an offensive against what the enemy perceives to be the soft underbelly of the coalition cause.

Tactically, he's on the retreat. Rout him. Get inside his decisionmaking cycle and break his nerve, make him keep his headdown, then jump down the spiderhole and pull him out into the light of day, and wipe him out.
Don't play footsie with him, for chrissakes.

Posted by: jdubious at June 28, 2006 10:54 AM (Vjk2Q)

16 How about we just kill all the vermin within two years and leave Iraq in fine shape?

Posted by: Purple Avenger at June 28, 2006 10:56 AM (JuWpl)

17 Pootin

I'm not trying to jack the thread, but I have to say that this particular misspelling of Vladimir Putin's name always makes me giggle like ace on a Redi-Whip huffing binge.

Posted by: OregonMuse at June 28, 2006 11:00 AM (UXBVD)

18 This is just an attempt by the bastards to shake off the heat while giving them time to rearm and consolidate their networks. A "ceasefire" is not the same as laying down their arms, and it could only inure to the benefit fo the terrorists. We would be fools to take the deal.

Which makes me kind of suspect that we will.

But telling them to go to hell would be sending just the right kind of signal.

Posted by: SWLiP at June 28, 2006 11:03 AM (WfQGW)

19 Last time we broke the back of a guerilla insurgency was Tet. They were completely defeated, rendered ineffective.

This time we don't have a national army in the field to deal with after the insurgents are defeated.

We have to have the will to follow through this time. I think the Iraqi government has that will, and I sure as hell hope we do.

Posted by: Dave in Texas at June 28, 2006 11:09 AM (1YvT/)

20 I remember the captured thoughts of terrorist leaders before this development. They predicted if we got a significant percentage of Sunnis on our side, it was:

Game over, man, GAME OVER!

I'm guessing their projections of the situation are more accurate than the liberal MSM's.

Posted by: Dogstar at June 28, 2006 11:13 AM (Z07fE)

21 I think the image of terrorist has been carried a little far by some of the posters here. First of all, foreign fighters don't make up a large percentage of the insurgency (though they do make up a good chunk of the suicide bombers).

If the insurgents wanted to use the lay-low-for-two-years-then-strike schtick, they could have been doing it already. America has always had plans to reduce the number of troops substantially if and when conditions settled down. They don't need a timetable for that to work.

Even if the insurgents do rise up after we're gone...we're gone. They're not al Qaeda (most of them aren't, and AQ isn't endorsing the withdrawal plan), so their objective will be to try to take of Iraq. Civil war, not American defeat. Not good, but something we can deal with if we have to.

And as the US withdraws, a whole lot of the support base of the insurgency withers. They might be able to whip people up by claiming that the Iraqi government is a US puppet, but they might not.

Certainly some of them, laying low and seeing their country start to turn into something worthwhile, will realize that there are opportunities to go legit, and the appeal of a new insurrection will be gone.

All in all, I'd say good chance for success.

Posted by: Roy at June 28, 2006 11:43 AM (MBwPl)

22 We will eventually have to let Iraq handle its own security. I would prefer to eliminate as many insurgents/terrorists as possible before that time but having the attacks stopped can reap equally good benefits. Iraq can start really rebuilding, a period of security will only strenghten the government, it will allow for better training and staffing of the army and police, Iraqi intelligence will be better, oil flow will increase and the citizenry will feel the benefits of stability which will strengthen their resolve once the eventual resurgency begins shortly after we leave. The stablility may even convince some would be insurgents that the status quo ain't so bad.

Posted by: roc ingersol at June 28, 2006 11:53 AM (m2CN7)

23 I would ask for a meeting of all the heads of the insurgent groups.

Then I would kill every last one of them.

And all their friends.

And their families.

Posted by: Don Corleone at June 28, 2006 12:10 PM (9tkAn)

24 Yep. It's only a good deal if we get to kill them.

Posted by: robert108 at June 28, 2006 12:36 PM (+7P4z)

25 Once we leave we will never have the political capital to go back.

I think we should keep the heat on. We've made a lot of progress lately. I'd hate to see us lose momentum.

Posted by: The Warden at June 28, 2006 12:57 PM (rZ5uY)

26 Funny that the insurgent leaders have chosen a draw down date that's farther off in the future than Murtha, Kerry, et al., don't ya think?

Posted by: Baron Von Ottomatic at June 28, 2006 01:02 PM (QWMO/)

27 The other thing is this- in order for the government to give you amnesty, they have to know who you are, what organization you belong to, etc.

There are advantages to having a complete organizational chart, with full details about every individual on it.

Posted by: Dogstar at June 28, 2006 01:55 PM (Z07fE)


Posted by: spurwing plover at June 28, 2006 04:19 PM (n7v4a)

29 Roy: reasonably argued, but I disagree about, or at least, want to point to, the following:

"If the insurgents wanted to use the lay-low-for-two-years-then-strike schtick, they could have been doing it already."
true as far as it goes, but then, they haven't had to until now, as they haven't been sufficiently depleted, and american (political) resolve has not been low enough til now to make it a tactic with results realizable in a reasonable timeframe. iow, I suggest that not having done so before does not mean they are not doing so now.

you make decent points about iraqi rebuilding being a factor that mitigates against the continued insurgency, and perhaps i overstated the proportion of foreign fighters.

I would suggest, emphatically, that the distinction you draw between iraqi civil war/[my words, iranian hegemony,] and American defeat, however clear to americans in the west, is dangerously unclear to the people to whom it matters most.

to wit; mogadishu was not, tactically, an "american" defeat, in the sense that we withdrew from a basically orderly (if evil) situation having inflicted tremendous damage on the enemy while sustainng relatively little. however, there can be no doubt that it was a defeat in the eyes of the jihadists, et al.

forced/arbitrary withdrawal, indeed any withdrawal, which endangers and/or eventually induces the capitulation of the iraqi govt as currently constituted is most certainly a defeat for america, and will be construed as such amongst our enemies as yet another example of the lack of american staying power.

in all, roy, you make the most compelling argument i've yet heard for accepting such a proposal, one that reasonable people can disagree about. but look at gaza, today, and what brought it to us, (borne of homegrown terrorists, and -i dont- think the word has been thrown around too much) it becomes hard for me to contemplate any situation in which negotiating with these factions from anything other than position of clear and mortal dominance results in any result which is any good.

amnesty for beheaders, but not illegals?
how bout neither? at least not yet.

Posted by: jdubious at June 28, 2006 04:28 PM (4fkku)

30 Giving them a timetable makes amnesty look like a blowjob. Amnesty at least kinda sorta possibly can work by making at least someone of the f-ckers integreate back into society.

Timetables on the other hand give them something to fight for. Timetable = light at the end of the tunnel for otherwise well and f-cked terrorbots = said terrorbots effectively remain in power due to the locals knowing they'll be back in 2 yrs to settle any accounts as needed.


If we need to stay only 2 years, we stay 2 years, or more if that is needed, but a timetable should absolutely never be on the table. That's practically suicide.

Posted by: Scott at June 29, 2006 04:40 AM (f8958)

31 The timetable cannot be an absolute: if the Iraqi government wants/needs us to continue to stay, they must be allowed to ask. But as far as the US making the decision, well, at some point we have to actually give the Iraqis autonomy like we said we were doing.

That's two years for the insurgents who put down their arms to assimilate into the system — even join our side — and two years to continue to kill the (substantially reduced) bunch of terrorists who haven't signed on.

Iraqi civil war would be a major setback, but only a defeat if the government were overthrown and we didn't step in.

Posted by: Roy at June 29, 2006 04:54 AM (2XXia)

32 You are correct Ace, without the insurgents, the Coalition would have been home by now. Does the MSM ever say that though? Hell no!
And their promises are worth the sand they're written in: here today, gone, oops! Gone already! The best-case is that they stop for 2 years, America goes home, then they start attacking agian! Worst case is they Americans promise to go home, then then insurgency goes all-out attacking everyone. The MSM would have their back, hounding the government to "live up to its promise!"
Rather similar to the Israel-Arab conflict for the past 39 years...

Posted by: 5Cats at June 29, 2006 06:44 AM (cVijR)

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