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December 01, 2006



Maybe SCIRI/Hakim not exactly a "new" American favorite.
With SCIRI they seem to feel a rapport, with other Shiite groups not so much. I recall this Khalilzad episode from Feb 06.


On another point, according to the brief account in Al-Quds al-Arabi, the IAI called for a fight against the Shiite militias and against "the aliens that are gaining strength in Baghdad and expelling you..." But it didn't mention anything about fighting against the occupation. Anybody know if this was completely absent from the announcement? If it represents a change in the IAI program? Couldn't be the first-fruits of the new US Sunni tilt, could it ?


Weird, isn't it? I've been hunting around looking for an original but haven't found one yet - obviously it would be important to see whether that's due to QA editors or the declaration itslef.


thanks for the Aswat al-Iraq reference. I put the two announcements together, read up a bit on the traditional views of the IAI on their website, and came up with this as a likely version of what's going on.


well, Bush said he was "....a uniter, not a divider"


I just honestly do not understand the conflict between the Shiites and Sunnis. I think that there are some differences in cultural traditions, religion, and conflicts in the past, but are these things that can be worked through and worked out? The situation in Iraq is so tragic because good people on all sides are being hurt. They cannot go on with their lives. I know an Arab man here in Texas who initially was glad to see Sadam removed from power (his father was a journalist who was murdered by Saddam). Now he has changed his mind and says that things are so terrible for all of his relatives that are still in Iraq. He even met with President Bush last year to express his opinion. In your own opinion, what would the best course of action for the US be at this point? What can or should be done to restore calm and peace in Iraq?

Helena Cobban

SCIRI being the Americans' favorites isn't "new". Remember the whole first four months of 2006.... (As chronicled on my blog and by Reidar Visser


... all I meant by "new" was the DC chatter the last couple of weeks about how Hakim would be a stronger leader and better bet than Maliki. Obviously there's a long history there..

Nur al-Cubicle

Abdel-Aziz Hakim has been summoned by Washington and will arrive tomorrow (Monday). But Islamic Party leader Tarek al-Hashemi has also been summoned and will arrive on the Potomac in January.

Instead of a peace conference, the Administration has, of course, opted for private agreements and strongmen.

Antiquated Tory

Regarding your update, could this be Jaysh al-Islami pushing back against America's renewed coziness with Hakim, who must be anathema to them?

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