Blame George W. Bush
In a quite amazing development, the Financial Times has reported that the leaders of Iraq’s Sunni Muslim “insurgency” are terribly demoralized by the recent elections (and probably also by the relentless pounding they’ve been taking on the battlefield)—demoralized enough to start negotiating with the Iraqi government to lay down their arms: Iraq’s insurgents ‘seek exit strategy’. (Thanks to all who emailed.)
Many of Iraq’s predominantly Sunni Arab insurgents would lay down their arms and join the political process in exchange for guarantees of their safety and that of their co-religionists, according to a prominent Sunni politician.
Sharif Ali Bin al-Hussein, who heads Iraq’s main monarchist movement and is in contact with guerrilla leaders, said many insurgents including former officials of the ruling Ba’ath party, army officers, and Islamists have been searching for a way to end their campaign against US troops and Iraqi government forces since the January 30 election.
“Firstly, they want to ensure their own security,” says Sharif Ali, who last week hosted a pan-Sunni conference attended by tribal sheikhs and other local leaders speaking on behalf of the insurgents.
Insurgent leaders fear coming out into the open to talk for fear of being targeted by US military or Iraqi security forces’ raids, he said.