Sunday, August 05, 2007

And now for some bad news from Iraq

BAGHDAD: Iraq's prime minister on Sunday rejected the resignation of Cabinet ministers from the country's largest Sunni Arab bloc, and asked the six ministers to rejoin his government.

Ministers from the Iraqi Accordance Front, which also holds 44 of parliament's 275 seats, quit Nouri al-Maliki's government on Wednesday. The move left only two Sunnis in the 40-member body, casting doubt on the government's "national unity" status and undermining the prime minister's efforts to unite rival factions and pass laws the U.S. considers benchmarks that could lead to sectarian reconciliation.

The Accordance Front said its decision to pull out of government was sealed by what it called al-Maliki's failure to respond to a set of demands: the release of security detainees not charged with specific crimes, the disbanding of militias and the participation of all groups represented in the government in dealing with security issues.

(International Herald Tribune)

I can't see how this can be a good thing, not that it spells certain doom.

The question is: Was this move prompted all or in part by an expectation by Sunnis that an early U.S. pullout is a foregone conclusion?
If that's the case, then we can expect the impasse to potentially break around September, when the Democrat-controlled congress gets its change to opt for victory instead of defeat.

Granting the possibility that Democrats can change their ways, the Sunnis are shooting themselves in the foot. Security in Iraq is prerequisite to obtaining the type of settlement they want in the national government.

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