the longer the picket line the shorter the strike...,
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cutnrunning the course:
A week ago the Democrats got together and decided to monger off to the right of the GOP in one of the more idiotic examples of liberal posturing I've seen on the war. Lockstep on the way in, boggarting the way out. This was in response to one of those things - a general amnesty for insurgents, even if they (*gasp!*) killed invading forces - most likely necessary for a truce. Now the rest of the story:
NEWSWEEK has obtained a draft copy of the national reconciliation plan, and verified its contents with two Iraqi officials involved in the reconciliation process who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the plan's contents. Prime Minister Maliki will present the document to the National Assembly when it convenes on Sunday, and it's expected to be debated over the coming week. Maliki has made reconciliation and control of party militias the main emphasis of his new government. This plan follows a series of secret negotiations over the past two months between seven insurgent groups, President Jalal Talabani and officials of the U.S. embassy. ... Principle No. 19 calls for "Recognizing the legitimacy of the national resistance and differentiating or separating it from terrorism" while "encouraging the national resistance to enroll in the political process and recognizing the necessity of the participation of the national resistance in the national reconciliation dialogue."
But wait, that's not all!
The plan also calls for a withdrawal timetable for coalition forces from Iraq, but it doesn't specify an actual dateóone of the Sunnis' key demands. It calls for "the necessity of agreeing on a timetable under conditions that take into account the formation of Iraqi armed forces so as to guarantee Iraq's security," and asks that a U.N. Security Council decree confirm the timetable. Mahmoud Othman, a National Assembly member who is close to President Talabani, said that no one disagrees with the concept of a broad, conditions-based timetable.
Hurrah! We all agree, apparently. Congress just said no to "permanent bases" again, but the simplest way to get around that of course is to call them something else...
update: english trans. of the summary. What's actually been sent to the Iraqi parliament is a watered down version of the draft procured by Newsweek, from 28 to 24 points, with the Administration crucially kicking down any talk of de-Baathification, amnesty for insurgents, or a timetable for US withdrawal.
On this amnesty shit's play in US politics: 2,500 insurgents may have killed members of the occupying army, that's what has people's panties in a bundle. Even Feingold is incoherent on this:
SEN. FEINGOLD: I donít think there should be amnesty for people who have killed or are trying to kill American troops, and I donít think that has to be a part of the process. I understand that there might have to be amnesty for certain individuals haveówho have committed some kind of criminal acts. It may be a different story for those who have done something to other Iraqis. I understand that. Thatís a decision the Iraqis should be able to make. But we, as Americans, cannot tolerate the idea that people who have murdered American soldiers should get off scot-free. I donít think any of us can support that.
Got it? It's acceptable if you may have killed Iraqis, even Iraqi civillians, but killing an American combatant is unforgivably beyond the pale, even if "forgiving" an act of legitemate self-defense might save innocent lives. If you flip this position on its ass and test for objective moral clarity we should be offering to turn over every American servicemember who's killed an Iraqi combatant to the aggrieved insurgent groups, tit for idiotic tat.
That's your far, far left end of the really existing political spectrum and across the rest of the board: morally wrong, pragmatically wrong. Thank you, and good night.