View Full Version : Resistance Ready to Talk - But Only With US

11-15-2005, 08:28 PM
Iraq: Resistance Ready to Talk - But Only with the US (http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2005/11/f3f3732b-f37f-46f0-842c-6655772a0eaa.html)

The self-described spokesperson for the Iraqi resistance, Ayham al-Samarra'i, told reporters in Baghdad over on 12 November that seven Iraqi resistance groups are ready to enter into dialogue with the United States in a bid to end the violence in Iraq. But resistance groups will not enter into talks with the Iraqi government, which has labeled them terrorist groups, he said. Al-Samarra'i is the head of the Independent Iraqis Grouping, and served as electricity minister in the interim government.

The groups' conditions for entering into talks are not likely to garner a positive reaction from the United States. According to a statement issued minutes before al-Samarra'i's 12 November press briefing, resistance groups have demanded an end to all military operations and the release of detainees; the withdrawal of foreign forces from Iraqi cities, and the establishment of a timetable for the withdrawal for multinational forces from Iraq.

Another problematic issue is the refusal by the resistance to lay down their arms. The resistance "will continue to keep its weapons until peace and accord are established in the country," al-Samarra'i told Al-Arabiyah television on 12 November.

11-15-2005, 09:52 PM
The Arab League is getting push-back from the Iraqi government along the same lines - from AP this morning: Arab League Invites 100 Iraqis to Meeting (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/14/AR2005111400953.html)

The Arab League has invited about 100 Iraqi leaders to a weekend meeting in Cairo to prepare for an Iraqi reconciliation conference, including possibly some members of Saddam Hussein's former Baath Party, officials said Monday.

However, a top Iraqi Shiite leader insisted that no officials from Hussein's regime or the insurgency should attend the U.S.-backed gathering, leaving both the Arab League and the Shiite leadership in Iraq sharply divided on acceptable participants.

01-07-2006, 08:10 AM
7 Jan. New York Times - Americans Said to Meet Rebels, Exploiting Rift (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/07/international/middleeast/07insurgents.html?).

American officials are talking with local Iraqi insurgent leaders to exploit a rift that has opened between homegrown insurgents and radical groups like Al Qaeda, and to draw the local leaders into the political process, according to a Western diplomat, an Iraqi political leader and an Iraqi insurgent leader.

Clashes between Iraqi groups and Al Qaeda have broken out in several cities across the Sunni Triangle, including Taji, Yusefiya, Qaim and Ramadi, and they appear to have intensified in recent months, according to interviews with insurgents and with American and Iraqi officials.

In an interview on Friday, a Western diplomat who supports the talks said that the Americans had opened face-to-face discussions with insurgents in the field, and that they were communicating with senior insurgent leaders through intermediaries.

The diplomat said the goal was to take advantage of rifts in the insurgency, particularly between local groups, whose main goal is to expel American forces, and the more radical groups, like Al Qaeda, which have alienated many Iraqis by the mass killing of Iraqi civilians...

01-27-2006, 12:53 AM
26 Jan USA Today - General Sees Rift in Iraq Enemy (http://www.usatoday.com/printedition/news/20060126/1a_lede26.art.htm).

A deepening rift between radical foreign-led fighters and native Iraqi insurgents has turned violent, the top U.S. intelligence officer in Iraq says. That creates an opportunity for American forces to try to persuade local guerrillas to put down their weapons and join the political process, he says.

“Now you actually have a wedge, or a split, between the Sunni population and al-Qaeda in Iraq,” said Maj. Gen. Richard Zahner, deputy chief of staff for intelligence for multinational forces in Iraq. “It poses a significant crossroads for these groups as they look at where they head.”

The U.S. military cited incidents of insurgent infighting in a rare public description of a split...

Iraq's national security adviser, Mouwafak al-Rubaie, also said there is a rift in the insurgency, calling it a “a major step forward in our fight against terrorism.”...

01-30-2006, 11:44 PM
Does this present the US with an opportunity to convince Iraqi insurgents to accept political rather than military means to satisfy their grievances, or does it present us with the opportunity to create counter-gangs to combat foreign fighters. I would imagine Kitson and Thompson would seek counter-gangs at the expense of more competition within the already fragile political process.

Merv Benson
01-31-2006, 02:11 AM
Maj.Gen. Rick Lynch discussed how the US is working with some insurgents on dealing with Zarqawi in this post (http://prairiepundit.blogspot.com/2006/01/degradation-of-zarqawi-network.html) on my blog. It is a rather long post, but I think you will find it worthwhile. He also had this to say about the groups they were actually dealing with:

The insurgency -- if you'll allow me to expand -- is three groups. It's terrorists and foreign fighters, Iraqi rejectionists, and the Saddamists. And what we find in that group called "Iraqi rejectionists," which are indeed individuals who may be dissatisfied with the established government, by outreach, by talking to them, by explaining the goodness of being part of the solution not part of the problem, we find that many of them end up being individuals that we can rely on to help make progress here in Iraq.

So we are indeed, with all the coalition forces and the coalition embassies, reaching out to individuals that we believe that could help reach the end state here in Iraq, which is a stable environment, an Iraq that's at peace with its neighbors, is an ally in the war on terror, that has a representative government and respects the human rights of all Iraqis. So there is indeed a dialogue taking place with individuals in that group we call the Iraqi rejectionists.

I think these are the guys they are tring to pull into the government and not necessarily the guys who are engaged in the red on red fighting with Zarqawi. There is a program to exploit that breach with Zarqawi and in his discussion about the degreadation of Zarqawi he does mention how they are working with some of the insurgents in Ramadi where there has been particular anger at the al Qaeda in Iraq forces.