Thursday, December 14, 2006
By Gareth Porter
"WASHINGTON - US Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad negotiated with Sunni armed groups for several weeks earlier this year on an agreement that would have supported Sunni forces in attacking pro-Iranian Shi'ite militias, according to accounts given by commanders of armed Sunni resistance organizations.
The revelations of the intensive US-Sunni negotiations, reported by Hala Jaber in the Sunday Times of London, are consistent with an account of those negotiations provided by a Sunni participant last May in an interview with the London-based Asharq al-Awsat newspaper.
But the new accounts make it clear for the first time that the main objective of the talks was to explore possible US support for building a Sunni military force directed primarily against Shi'ites in Iraq.
The U.S. objective is very clear. The U.S. withdrawal is non-negotiable, and that is what the resistance insists on, hence there was no point to continue contacts. The U.S. wanted to use the resistance to fight the pro-Iran Shiite militias, just as it is using those same militias to fight the resistance and to destroy cities such as Fallujah and Ramadi. It is the same old divide-and-conquer: let the Iraqis slaughter each other.
Now, the U.S. wants to take this fragmentation process one step further: have the Shiites fight and kill each other. Next we will see full-scale warfare between Hakim's Badr militias (with U.S. backing) and Muqtada's Mahdi Army.
Until the Iraqis wise up to this obvious divide-and-conquer strategy, the fragmentation will progress until every Iraqi fights every other Iraqi.
Will they ever learn?