With Amy Goodman
"Former California state senator Tom Hayden is reporting that U.S. officials have secretly been involved in direct contacts with the Sunni armed resistance to explore a ceasefire in Iraq and even the possible replacement of the Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government with an interim one.
Tom Hayden, a former California State Senator. He joins us on the line from California.
AMY GOODMAN: It’s good to have you with us Tom. Well, why don't you layout what you learned.
TOM HAYDEN: Well, it’s very murky, but we’ll know enough in a few days I suppose. But, over the past several years, but especially in the past months since the election, there have been contacts at a deniable level, but definite contacts between representatives of the armed Irania-—armed Iraqi National Resistance and the US over the possible conditions for a cease-fire and a change of regime in Baghdad. And the reason, the sources of this are first, I have some direct knowledge of meetings in Aman just a few days ago. Secondly, it's been all over the press in the Arab world like on Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper on November 3rd. And, it's consistent with the past. The question I guess is, is there a faction of the administration that has decided to explore a cease-fire in a settlement with the Sunni resistance since the US has failed to defeat them militarily. That would require probably a deadline for withdrawal and further talks.
And secondly, it may be that the US has realized that the Shia that it placed in power have created a Pro-Iran, Shia state starting in southern Iraq . So the US now seems to want to launch an urban offensive against the Madi Army of Muqtada al-Sadr in Sadr city, you know what kind of blood bath that would be. To do that, they would of to get the Prime Minister, al-Maliki, out of the way because he depends on al-Sadr for votes and parliament. So, there could be a plan to replace al-Maliki with a strong man, turn the Shia loose and so on. But, who knows?
What I do know is that the, the peace movement is very important as a factor in all this and needs to stay alive, because they have rattled the foreign policy establishment creating a – not only a general mandate for peace, but a time table. There's a certain urgency to get this business done before the 2008 election."
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