Insurgent leaders meet poolside in Syria to plan post-U.S. Iraq

Al Qaeda wasn’t invited, nearly everyone else was. We followed the “irresponsible and frankly naive” Barack Obama battle plan for once by meeting today with Iran and for our trouble we got a catered dinner for roadside bomb builders outside Damascus that Iran’s bosomest buddy initially had planned to sponsor himself.

As for their demands, they’re simple. Tear down the entire existing Iraqi state apparatus and hand the country over to them to govern.

Once the majority of American troops have left, the alliance plans to throw out the constitution, dissolve the parliament, cancel all resolutions issued from the Bremer era on, and disband the existing security forces and U.S.-trained Iraqi army divisions. The U.S. embassy in Baghdad, they said, would have to close — “as in Saigon. With helicopters on the roof” said Samarai — until Washington recognized a new, resistance-led Iraqi governing council, and offered compensation to all individuals and organizations affected by the war. Under the new leadership, all Iraqi citizens who worked for or cooperated with the current, coalition-backed government would be arrested. A “reconciliation council”, drawn in large part from the ranks of the armed insurgency, would then draw up plans for a permanent “technocratic” government — which would immediately seek criminal charges and file civil suits against the U.S. government and major American war supporters in international court.

The Guardian had the inside track on this last week. Read the blockquote again in the context of this post and ruminate on the prospects for Petraeus’s plan to reconcile Sunnis and Shia from the ground up. There’s not a whole lot of common ground between “join the political process” and “dissolve the constitution”; as such, all of these guys are going to have to be killed at some point. The only question is whether the U.S. military, the IA, or the JAM will do most of the killing.

You’re all waiting for it so here it is — enemy recognition that anti-war sentiment is its own salvation. I leave you with this:

“The American project in Iraq is now precarious,” said Nizar al-Samarai, a conference spokesman and former official in the Saddam Hussein regime. “We are sure of our victory now, so we decided to meet.”…

“America doesn’t leave a country by force,” said Samarai. “Bush has been in a hole, digging deeper. So every year, it has become more difficult for America to leave Iraq. But what the muqawimma [resistance] movement has done is more than America can bear. Now there is not only a military battle in Iraq, there is a political battle in the U.S.” That part of the battle, he said, was nearly over. As for their summit, the delegates insisted it was merely postponed not cancelled. It will eventually be held — though perhaps not in Damascus.

Exit question: If Time magazine managed to find its way to the meeting, do you suppose the CIA did too?

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David Strom 8:41 PM on March 20, 2023