Baathists Make Overture to U.S. Now What?

BY Herschel Smith
8 years, 1 month ago

From IHT, we learn that Ibrahim al-Shimmari of the Islamic Army of Iraq is alleged to have made an overture to the U.S.

BAGHDAD, Iraq A purported spokesman for a Sunni insurgent group, the Islamic Army in Iraq, offered to open negotiations with the Americans in an audiotape aired by Al-Jazeera television on Thursday.

The tape was said to be from Ibrahim al-Shimmari, whose name has appeared in past statements by the group, which has claimed responsibility for a number of suicide bombings against civilians and attacks on U.S. troops.

The tape’s authenticity could not be independently confirmed.

“We are prepared for any negotiations, whether secret or public, on the condition only that they are sincere. We have no objection to mediators with international credentials, and it is possible to exchange letters,” the speaker in the tape said.

Al-Shimmari has offered such negotiations in past statements. He did not elaborate on the goal of any talks.

The Islamic Army in Iraq is believed to include former members of Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party, his intelligence service and former army officers. It rejected a call from Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki earlier this year for insurgents to join the political process, saying it would not participate until there was a timetable for withdrawal of U.S.-led forces.

In sections of the tape not aired, the speaker on the tape said Iraq faces occupation by two powers — “the Crusader Americans and the Iranians … and the latter is the more dangerous,” Al-Jazeera reported.

He said his group was allied to former al-Qaida in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was killed June by a U.S. airstrike. But the speaker criticized al-Zarqawi, saying he “committed some mistakes,” including the killing of four Russian embassy workers who were kidnapped, then slain in late June.

In contrast to the Islamic Army, al-Qaida in Iraq is believed largely made up of Arab Islamic militants, though the group has tried to ally itself with Iraqi insurgents.

U.S. policy will soon have to consider the disposition of the remaining Baathists in the al Anbar province.  The foreign fighters such as al Qaeda pose an easy decision.  They are dedicated to the overthrow of the current regime by violent means as shown by the recently released letter from al Qaeda senior leadership to Zarqawi.  They will have to be killed.

But as the Strategy Page discusses, the issue of the Sunni insurgents is a more problematic situation.

When it comes to fighting the terrorists, tribal ties still matter. In central Iraq, three Sunni tribes are particularly linked to the Sunni Arab violence; the Bulaym, Janabi, and Shammar Jarba. They were mainstays of the old Saddam Hussein regime, providing many recruits for the secret police and Republican Guard. Tribal politics for these three is all about either regaining control of the government, or getting amnesty. The government has been discussing amnesty deals with many of the tribal leaders. The problem is that the tribes want amnesty for more people than the government believes it can get away with. Attempts to give amnesty to those known to have been involved in killing Americans, blew up when Americans got wind of it. Same thing happened in Iraq when the government proposed giving amnesty to Sunni Arab tribal officials who had participated in attacks on Kurds and Shia Arabs both before, and after, the fall of Saddam in 2003. What it comes down to is that there are thousands of prominent Sunni Arabs who have to be either pardoned, captured or killed, before there can be peace in Iraq.

High sounding phrases such as helping the Iraqis to “secure Ramadi,” and “winning the hearts and minds of the people,” might sound impressive in a hot-off-the-press master’s thesis, but are sometimes not very useful for formulating policy or doctrine.  The fact is that the U.S. administration will have to make a difficult decision.  Either we kill or capture the remaining Baathist elements in the al Anbar Province, or we formulate some sort of treaty, pact or agreement with them to secure the surrender of their weapons and the standdown of their armies, while stopping short of killing or incarcerating them.  These are the only two options.

If we decide for the former option, there is much work remaining, and it will be hard and bloody work.  There is no “winning the hearts and minds” of those for whom you have made it clear that you intend to kill them.  There is absolutely no reason for a person with a sure and certain death sentence to surrender.  If we decide for the later option, the objections from the U.S. will be understandably loud and emotional.

How can we make peace with those who have killed our sons?  But if we do not, how many more sons will we lose?


You are currently reading "Baathists Make Overture to U.S. Now What?", entry #327 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Iraq,Policy,War & Warfare and was published October 6th, 2006 by Herschel Smith.

If you're interested in what else the The Captain's Journal has to say, you might try thumbing through the archives and visiting the main index, or; perhaps you would like to learn more about TCJ.

26th MEU (10)
Abu Muqawama (12)
ACOG (2)
ACOGs (1)
Afghan National Army (36)
Afghan National Police (17)
Afghanistan (675)
Afghanistan SOFA (4)
Agriculture in COIN (3)
AGW (1)
Air Force (28)
Air Power (9)
al Qaeda (83)
Ali al-Sistani (1)
America (6)
Ammunition (14)
Animals in War (4)
Ansar al Sunna (15)
Anthropology (3)
AR-15s (39)
Arghandab River Valley (1)
Arlington Cemetery (2)
Army (34)
Assassinations (2)
Assault Weapon Ban (26)
Australian Army (5)
Azerbaijan (4)
Backpacking (2)
Badr Organization (8)
Baitullah Mehsud (21)
Basra (17)
BATFE (44)
Battle of Bari Alai (2)
Battle of Wanat (15)
Battle Space Weight (3)
Bin Laden (7)
Blogroll (2)
Blogs (4)
Body Armor (16)
Books (2)
Border War (7)
Brady Campaign (1)
Britain (26)
British Army (35)
Camping (4)
Canada (1)
Castle Doctrine (1)
Caucasus (6)
CENTCOM (7)
Center For a New American Security (8)
Charity (3)
China (10)
Christmas (5)
CIA (12)
Civilian National Security Force (3)
Col. Gian Gentile (9)
Combat Outposts (3)
Combat Video (2)
Concerned Citizens (6)
Constabulary Actions (3)
Coolness Factor (2)
COP Keating (4)
Corruption in COIN (4)
Council on Foreign Relations (1)
Counterinsurgency (214)
DADT (2)
David Rohde (1)
Defense Contractors (2)
Department of Defense (114)
Department of Homeland Security (9)
Disaster Preparedness (2)
Distributed Operations (5)
Dogs (5)
Drone Campaign (3)
EFV (3)
Egypt (12)
Embassy Security (1)
Enemy Spotters (1)
Expeditionary Warfare (17)
F-22 (2)
F-35 (1)
Fallujah (17)
Far East (3)
Fathers and Sons (1)
Favorite (1)
Fazlullah (3)
FBI (1)
Featured (161)
Federal Firearms Laws (15)
Financing the Taliban (2)
Firearms (259)
Football (1)
Force Projection (35)
Force Protection (4)
Force Transformation (1)
Foreign Policy (27)
Fukushima Reactor Accident (6)
Ganjgal (1)
Garmsir (1)
general (14)
General Amos (1)
General James Mattis (1)
General McChrystal (38)
General McKiernan (6)
General Rodriguez (3)
General Suleimani (7)
Georgia (19)
GITMO (2)
Google (1)
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar (1)
Gun Control (219)
Guns (596)
Guns In National Parks (2)
Haditha Roundup (10)
Haiti (2)
HAMAS (7)
Haqqani Network (9)
Hate Mail (7)
Hekmatyar (1)
Heroism (4)
Hezbollah (12)
High Capacity Magazines (11)
High Value Targets (9)
Homecoming (1)
Homeland Security (1)
Horses (1)
Humor (13)
ICOS (1)
IEDs (7)
Immigration (35)
India (10)
Infantry (3)
Information Warfare (2)
Infrastructure (2)
Intelligence (22)
Intelligence Bulletin (6)
Iran (169)
Iraq (378)
Iraq SOFA (23)
Islamic Facism (33)
Islamists (37)
Israel (18)
Jaish al Mahdi (21)
Jalalabad (1)
Japan (2)
Jihadists (71)
John Nagl (5)
Joint Intelligence Centers (1)
JRTN (1)
Kabul (1)
Kajaki Dam (1)
Kamdesh (8)
Kandahar (12)
Karachi (7)
Kashmir (2)
Khost Province (1)
Khyber (11)
Knife Blogging (2)
Korea (4)
Korengal Valley (3)
Kunar Province (20)
Kurdistan (3)
Language in COIN (5)
Language in Statecraft (1)
Language Interpreters (2)
Lashkar-e-Taiba (2)
Law Enforcement (2)
Lawfare (6)
Leadership (5)
Lebanon (6)
Leon Panetta (1)
Let Them Fight (2)
Libya (11)
Lines of Effort (3)
Littoral Combat (7)
Logistics (48)
Long Guns (1)
Lt. Col. Allen West (2)
Marine Corps (229)
Marines in Bakwa (1)
Marines in Helmand (67)
Marjah (4)
MEDEVAC (2)
Media (22)
Memorial Day (2)
Mexican Cartels (20)
Mexico (24)
Michael Yon (5)
Micromanaging the Military (7)
Middle East (1)
Military Blogging (26)
Military Contractors (3)
Military Equipment (24)
Militia (3)
Mitt Romney (3)
Monetary Policy (1)
Moqtada al Sadr (2)
Mosul (4)
Mountains (10)
MRAPs (1)
Mullah Baradar (1)
Mullah Fazlullah (1)
Mullah Omar (3)
Musa Qala (4)
Music (16)
Muslim Brotherhood (6)
Nation Building (2)
National Internet IDs (1)
National Rifle Association (13)
NATO (15)
Navy (19)
Navy Corpsman (1)
NCOs (3)
News (1)
NGOs (2)
Nicholas Schmidle (2)
Now Zad (19)
NSA (1)
NSA James L. Jones (6)
Nuclear (53)
Nuristan (8)
Obama Administration (205)
Offshore Balancing (1)
Operation Alljah (7)
Operation Khanjar (14)
Ossetia (7)
Pakistan (165)
Paktya Province (1)
Palestine (5)
Patriotism (6)
Patrolling (1)
Pech River Valley (11)
Personal (17)
Petraeus (14)
Pictures (1)
Piracy (13)
Pistol (1)
Police (124)
Police in COIN (3)
Policy (15)
Politics (141)
Poppy (2)
PPEs (1)
Prisons in Counterinsurgency (12)
Project Gunrunner (20)
PRTs (1)
Qatar (1)
Quadrennial Defense Review (2)
Quds Force (13)
Quetta Shura (1)
RAND (3)
Recommended Reading (14)
Refueling Tanker (1)
Religion (77)
Religion and Insurgency (19)
Reuters (1)
Rick Perry (4)
Roads (4)
Rolling Stone (1)
Ron Paul (1)
ROTC (1)
Rules of Engagement (74)
Rumsfeld (1)
Russia (27)
Sabbatical (1)
Sangin (1)
Saqlawiyah (1)
Satellite Patrols (2)
Saudi Arabia (4)
Scenes from Iraq (1)
Second Amendment (140)
Second Amendment Quick Hits (2)
Secretary Gates (9)
Sharia Law (3)
Shura Ittehad-ul-Mujahiden (1)
SIIC (2)
Sirajuddin Haqqani (1)
Small Wars (72)
Snipers (9)
Sniveling Lackeys (2)
Soft Power (4)
Somalia (8)
Sons of Afghanistan (1)
Sons of Iraq (2)
Special Forces (22)
Squad Rushes (1)
State Department (17)
Statistics (1)
Sunni Insurgency (10)
Support to Infantry Ratio (1)
Survival (10)
SWAT Raids (51)
Syria (38)
Tactical Drills (1)
Tactical Gear (1)
Taliban (167)
Taliban Massing of Forces (4)
Tarmiyah (1)
TBI (1)
Technology (16)
Tehrik-i-Taliban (78)
Terrain in Combat (1)
Terrorism (87)
Thanksgiving (4)
The Anbar Narrative (23)
The Art of War (5)
The Fallen (1)
The Long War (20)
The Surge (3)
The Wounded (13)
Thomas Barnett (1)
Transnational Insurgencies (5)
Tribes (5)
TSA (10)
TSA Ineptitude (10)
TTPs (1)
U.S. Border Patrol (4)
U.S. Border Security (11)
U.S. Sovereignty (13)
UAVs (2)
UBL (4)
Ukraine (2)
Uncategorized (39)
Universal Background Check (2)
Unrestricted Warfare (4)
USS Iwo Jima (2)
USS San Antonio (1)
Uzbekistan (1)
V-22 Osprey (4)
Veterans (2)
Vietnam (1)
War & Warfare (210)
War & Warfare (40)
War Movies (2)
War Reporting (18)
Wardak Province (1)
Warriors (5)
Waziristan (1)
Weapons and Tactics (57)
West Point (1)
Winter Operations (1)
Women in Combat (12)
WTF? (1)
Yemen (1)

about · archives · contact · register

Copyright © 2006-2014 Captain's Journal. All rights reserved.