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October 16, 2007

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bb

"Anbar Sheiks Warmly Embrace Iranian Puppet Federalism Proposals". Now wouldn't THAT be a story?

Honestly AA - the Iranian "puppet" SIIC (!) had a public (!) meeting with the Sunni Anbar Awakening (!) at which Federalism (!) was discussed? That was quite a big story on its own in both Iraqi and western framework, but it didn't get much coverage either? Surely there is much going on behind the scenes which you are not canvassing?

aardvark

Of course - that's why I said this was a big story which deserved to be covered. SIIC outings to Anbar to chat up Sunni shaykhs don't happen every day. But the failure of the meeting is also an important point - otherwise one comes away with entirely the wrong impression about where things might be heading.

Speaking of behind the scenes, the al-Hayat article offers some juicy hints: Ali Hatem warned Ahmed Abu Risha that he wasn't authorized to make any decision on his own. That suggests that just maybe some of the ASC are more puppety than others, and there's continuing internal tension there.

bb

Sure, but it's jumping the gun to declare the talks a failure based only on newspaper reports? Or did the parties hold a press conference?

It would be good if you could give us a fuller translation of the article. That reported quote from Ali Hatem about Abu Risha being warned he was "not authorised to make decisons on his own" seems extremely mild under the circumstances of Sunnis meeting publicly with the SIIC!

Fabius Maximus

"the Anbar Salvation Council absolutely and completely rejected the idea of federalism, both in general and in all of its details"

Does this mean that they are now obeying the central government? Collecting taxes? Unrestricted access to their areas by Army and security forces? Following the national laws?

If they continue to operate their own state, perhaps we should pay attention to what they do -- not what they say.

Lurch

When you said your computer "crashed" do you mean it just did the MicroShaft two-step and you had to reboot? If I may make a suggestion, please consider working up your posts in Word and then cut & paste to the blog template. Word has a pretty good spellcheck and grammar editor, which keeps an eye over your shoulder and the resulting document makes a handy file copy in case you ever have to refer back to it.

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