A Shiite Tilt?

Posted by Cutler on February 27, 2007
Iraq

Those trying to discern any implicit political tilt to the Baghdad security plan should not be satisfied by White House professions of (and demands for) political neutrality and even handedness.

Instead, the best way to trace the contours of US policy is to listen for the howls of protest.

Here comes one now, and it suggests a pro-Shiite tilt.  Here is the Associated Press story:

The most prominent Sunni in Iraq’s fragmented government said Monday that the United States is going to have to come up with a “Plan B” if the current crackdown fails to stem the violence in the capital.

Tariq al-Hashemi, the Sunni vice president, also warned that the Shiite-led government has no choice but to use force against sectarian militias, even though it may be too late to keep them from resuming killings and kidnappings when the Baghdad security crackdown ends…

The option of a political solution failed, and there is no choice now for the government except to use force against these militias – but it’s too late,” he said…

“Up to now, legal procedures have not been observed,” al-Hashemi said. “The human rights of Iraqis have not been respected as they should be. In this regard, this (security) plan is being implemented in the same way the previous ones were. This is surely regrettable.”

At the same time, he said efforts to lure Sunni insurgents to lay down their arms was “moving at the speed of turtles” because the Shiite parties are reluctant “to bring them into the political process.”

“They view the resistance as a terror group that is no different from al-Qaida and that’s the problem we are facing now,” he said of the Shiites.

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