Sunnis Opt for Ballots – and Bullets

Leading Sunni clerics and insurgent organizations are unofficially encouraging voting by Sunnis in Thursday’s parliamentary elections for a slate of candidates who are calling for a timetable for U.S. troop withdrawal. The decision to support participation in the election is the latest step in an evolving Sunni strategy that now combines armed struggle, participation in … Continue reading “Sunnis Opt for Ballots – and Bullets”

No-Timetable Policy Rules Out a Deal on Zarqawi

U.S. President George W. Bush’s adamant rejection of a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq effectively slams the door on a recent reported offer from Sunni resistance groups to eliminate the al-Qaeda terrorist haven in Iraq as part of a negotiated peace agreement. At the recent Iraqi reconciliation meeting in Cairo, leaders of three Sunni armed … Continue reading “No-Timetable Policy Rules Out a Deal on Zarqawi”

Was Cairo Meet First Step Toward Peace Talks?

The final communiqué of the Cairo Conference of Iraqi political groups last week appears to be a tentative first step in a process that could eventually lead to a peace settlement in Iraq. The Shi’ite leadership of Iraq may not be ready to negotiate with the Sunni insurgents yet, but its behavior at the conference … Continue reading “Was Cairo Meet First Step Toward Peace Talks?”

Witnesses Describe Ballot Fraud in Nineveh

Reports compiled by the U.S. military in Iraq from its informants and by non-governmental organizations from independent Iraqi sources provide the first detailed picture of a campaign of ballot fraud by Kurdish authorities in Nineveh province, the key to the outcome of the Oct. 15 constitutional referendum. They show that officials of the Kurdish Democratic … Continue reading “Witnesses Describe Ballot Fraud in Nineveh”

Reports of Sunni Enthusiasm May Be Premature

The George W. Bush administration is citing the formation of a coalition of Sunni political organizations to run candidates in Iraq’s December parliamentary elections, and high Sunni turnout in the recent referendum, as evidence that its policy of attracting Sunnis away from the insurgency is working. But this argument ignores the evidence from both the … Continue reading “Reports of Sunni Enthusiasm May Be Premature”

Vote Figures for Crucial Province Don’t Add Up

The early vote totals from Nineveh province, which suggested an overwhelming majority in favor of Iraq’s draft constitution that assured its passage by national referendum, now appear to have been highly misleading. The final official figures for the province, obtained by IPS from a U.S. official in Mosul, actually have the constitution being rejected by … Continue reading “Vote Figures for Crucial Province Don’t Add Up”

Sunni Strategy Shifts Toward Voter Turnout

Despite last-minute maneuvering by Shiite and Kurdish leaders to offer the possibility of further changes in Iraq’s draft constitution, and warnings by foreign jihadists against participation, all indications are that Sunnis will turn out in large numbers Saturday to cast ballots in the country’s referendum. The very large number of Sunnis expected at the polls … Continue reading “Sunni Strategy Shifts Toward Voter Turnout”

Kurdish Voting Shenanigans May Tip Referendum

If the referendum on Iraq’s draft constitution next month is conducted fairly, it now appears very likely that the document will be defeated by a two-thirds majority in the three Sunni-dominated provinces of Anbar, Salahadeen, and Nineveh, plunging Iraq into a new political crisis. However, one way such a defeat could be averted is by … Continue reading “Kurdish Voting Shenanigans May Tip Referendum”

How Bush Is Contributing to Civil War in Iraq

Sunnis and Shi’ites are now sliding toward a civil war, and the Bush administration has shown no interest in trying to avert it.  With Congress growing increasingly restless over the absence of an administration exit strategy, opponents of the occupation could take the offensive by offering a clear alternative policy of using U.S. influence to encourage … Continue reading “How Bush Is Contributing to Civil War in Iraq”

The Coming Shi’ite Showdown

Even as the Bush administration was hailing the heroism of the Iraqi Shi’ite majority for going to the polls last Jan. 30, it was secretly preventing the new Shi’ite government from having full control over its own intelligence services. The reason, it has now been revealed, is that the administration fears that the Shi’ites will … Continue reading “The Coming Shi’ite Showdown”