"When dozens of suspected fighters showed up for a so-called peace conference in Baquba on Tuesday, they told the governor sponsoring it why they would not lay down their weapons ahead of elections."
.... Many of the men - from clerics and tribal leaders to ex-army officers and professionals - just wanted to know when U.S. forces would leave. .. "I would have signed it [an oath printed in Arabic and English] if it said no attacks on Iraqi forces, but no attacks on U.S. forces when they are occupying the country?"
.... "This pledge commits you to not even speak against the Americans. I cannot sign it," said cleric Fouad Attiya, 40."If I call from my mosque for occupation forces to leave my country does that make me a terrorist? Is this the freedom and democracy they are bringing us?"Suspected fighters vent frustrations
January 19, 2005
andNo takers as U.S. offers forgiveness to insurgents
January 19, 2005Now here is a whiff of democracy !
"As it now stands, there are three situations under which American forces could withdraw: we achieve our goals and depart in triumph; we are asked to leave by the Iraqi government; or we leave Iraq in chaos but spin it as a win. There are obstacles or drawbacks to all three.
Achieving our goals may be impossible now with the current levels of insurgency and distrust. Iraqi leaders may be slow to show us the door if we are guaranteeing their security.
Lowering our standard of success is unlikely to increase American credibility either at home or abroad.Why not let the Iraqis themselves decide?
(my italics) Ask Iraqi voters in a referendum six weeks after the national elections if they think foreign soldiers should withdraw immediately. Let the Iraqis debate what the absence of American forces will mean for their families and nation. Tell them we'll hold the referendum every nine months until they vote us out or we determine it's time to leave."Should We Stay or Should We Go?
January 19, 2005Would this proposal not encourage/assure the participation of all Iraqis?Better still, include that choice in the 'democratic national elections', as is often done in other referendums. The sooner you know, the better, no?You ready to take over?Hear ye, hear ye! Come and get some freedom