November 25, 2005

Let's proceed with caution here

Emperor Darth Misha I points to an encouraging article here which reports that the Sunni's, "insurgents" and Ba'athists are signaling that they may be looking for a way to cut and run from the "resistence".

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Several insurgents groups have contacted President Jalal Talabani's office in the past few days, with some saying they are ready to lay down their arms and join the political process, the presidential security adviser said Thursday.

Call me cynical, but -- given their willingness to target innocent men, woman and children in marketplaces and polling places -- this may not signal a change in their hearts and minds, but only a change in their tactics.

(This is a response I left in the comments here: )


The war had been plodding along without anything identifiable as “progress” for quite a few years. President Nixon’s goal was to bring our troops home, but only after the South Vietnamese were prepared to defend their country by themselves. “Vietnamization.” “Peace with honor.”

But, after four years in office, the Paris peace talks were no further along than they had been when he took office. Ho Chi Minh had no intention of settling for a Korean-style solution, and so Nixon decided that in order to get Vietnam’s war behind US he had to do something bold.

So, after winning a landslide re-election, he took his political capital and — in December — went to Camp David and ordered the “Christmas bombing” of Hanoi and North Vietnam. For two weeks the onslaught continued while Nixon stayed at the presidential retreat refusing to explain himself. People wondered if he’d finally gone mad and was intent on invading North Vietnam.

After two weeks the bombing stopped and Nixon came down from Camp David and announced a 90-day cease-fire with the North Vietnamese, during which time all US troops would withdraw from the South. That, finally, ended our active military involvement in defending South Vietnam. Two years later the South fell.

Possible parallels: Nixon’s landslide re-election followed by the Christmas bombings put the fear into the North Vietnamese. The 403-3 vote in the House followed by/concurrent with the offensive in western Iraq put the fear in the “insurgents”.
The North Vietnamese agreed to a cease-fire in order to allow the major obstacle to invasion to leave the theater: US troops. The “insurgents” and Ba’athists make overtures to lay down their arms in order to speed up the withdrawal of their major obstacle to re-taking power in Iraq: US troops.

Possible difference: The North Vietnamese made no bones about the fact that the cease-fire was not a peace treaty but only a temporary end to hostilities after which the war would continue. The “insurgents” and Ba’athists claim that they are interested in peacefully joining the political process. Great news if it’s true and not a ruse.

I just hope that — once US troops are gone — having brought the”insurgents” and Ba’athists into the political process doesn’t simply transform them from “insurgents” into insurgents.

Posted by Tuning Spork at November 25, 2005 03:53 PM | TrackBack
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Site Meter