Thursday, June 15, 2006

Maliki's Amnesty Offer

There's been a bit of walk-back today, but the idea still is out there:

On the issue of clemency for those who had attacked U.S. troops, Kadhimi had said in Thursday's Washington Post: "That's an area where we can see a green line. There's some sort of preliminary understanding between us and the MNF-I," the U.S.-led Multi-National Force-Iraq, "that there is a patriotic feeling among the Iraqi youth and the belief that those attacks are legitimate acts of resistance and defending their homeland. These people will be pardoned definitely, I believe."

I think Captain Ed has the right response to this (which aligns with the notion of "the Iraqis will have to feel their legitimate government put their interest above America's" expressed here):

This sounds appalling, but it probably reflects the reality of Iraq today, and will be the only realistic way to bring an end to the infighting. We can demand that Mailiki rescind the offer, but a refusal would only burnish his credentials as an independent leader. In fact, we should protest to give him that chance. I would like nothing more that to see the cowards han[g] from the nearest gallows, but insisting on that point would likely make almost everyone ineligible for the amnesty. Maliki has already narrowed down eligibility to those who have not attacked civilians, which will prove problematic enough to enforce.