Badger Blog Alliance

Sic Semper Tyrannis

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Iraq: Amnesty, Expediency, Failure

Amnesty. It's showing up again as a political bargaining chip, this time in Iraq.

From the Washington Post:

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Wednesday proposed a limited amnesty to help end the Sunni Arab insurgency as part of a national reconciliation plan that Maliki said would be released within days. The plan is likely to include pardons for those who had attacked only U.S. troops, a top adviser said.

Maliki's declaration of openness to talks with some members of Sunni armed factions, and the prospect of pardons, are concessions that previous, interim governments had avoided. The statements marked the first time a leader from Iraq's governing Shiite religious parties has publicly embraced national reconciliation, welcomed dialogue with armed groups and proposed a limited amnesty.

Rather than seeing it for the politically savvy pretzel-logic maneuver it is, some would have you believe that "Iraqi government does NOT support the U.S. troops."

One might as well say of the amnesty programs for illegal immigrants in the US that Congress and the President do not support American workers. Twisted thinking applied to a twisted attempt at gaining consensus.

Johnny, whose blog deck generally echoes my sentiments but with a left lean (and a left-leaning "patriotism" equation) , notes Bush's recent surprise visit to Iraq followed by Iraqi PM Maliki's amnesty proposal, and hits the nail square on the head:

Yesterday, Maliki announced an amnesty plan for insurgents. Specifically, as long as insurgents (or are they terrorists?) "weren't involved in the shedding of Iraqi blood", they would be granted amnesty. That means, insurgents who attacked, maimed, and/or killed U.S. troops would be forgiven [emphasis his].

Is there outrage? Are the so-called defenders of the troops calling for Maliki's head? No. On the day we reach 2,500 killed boys and girls in Iraq, the Republican chickenhawks are glad to offer amnesty to their killers.

Here you go, Johnny:

I protest. I am furious. This is a slap in the face to the people who shed their own blood and gave their lives so the Iraqis could come to terms - in peace.

Coming to terms through violence should have been put down and those involved must be brought in and tried for their crimes. Maliki is "making moves" with a "security crackdown," and seeks a necessary reconciliation. However, words and policies should affirm actions, not betray them.

Politically, the Iraqis may see this as akin to repatriating enemy combatants after the war. That may be fine for the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and perhaps for those caught up in the Iraqi infighting - providing they do not return to the field of combat. It's not appropriate for those who have killed ANY of the troops that put the Iraq government in place. A house divided against itself cannot stand. To count the coalition as some external designation is to create a myth that will create a permanent fracture in the long run.

But Johnny and others make a mistake if they attempt to put this political stripe on conservatives. It's a political maneuver as old as Menalaeus, and its name is neither Democrat nor Republican.

Its name is expediency. And done in this fashion, it's dead wrong.