Monday, December 10, 2007

Signs of a major turning point

Missing Links

"Iraqi Interior Minister Jawad Bulani, in a follow-up to the highly-touted seizure of documents near Tikrit late last week, said yesterday his ministry has recruited 3000 special police agents to track down resistance Baathists. There were a couple of particularly noteworthy points in what he said.

First: He said this is going to involve pursuit of people from both the Izzat al-Douri wing and the rival Yunis al-Ahmed wing. This is noteworthy because of what sketchy information we have about talks or negotiations between the US and the GreenZone on the one side and Baathists on the other. The split between the two wings occurred immediately after the execution of Saddam, and the Douri loyalists accused the Yunis wing (and the government of Syria) of preparing to sell out to the Americans. And there has been continuing tension over the question of who is talking to the Americans and who is not. There was a report by ConflictsForum this past summer about meetings between the Americans and the Yunis wing. And more recently, at the Black Sea "track 2" reconciliation meetings arranged by Richard Murphy, reports said there was representation there from both the Douri and the Yunis wings of the Baath. The cloud of silence then descended over the these talks.....

Now the GreenZone government says it is assigning 3000 new secret agents to tracking down members of both of these wings of the Baath. (The reporter says the total number of target individuals involved is estimated at between 20,000 and 40,000). This suggests that perhaps we don't need any comment from Murphy after all, in order to figure out what has happened with the talks, at least as far as the Baath are concerned......."

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