I just posted this on Today in Iraq -- an unusual personal statement.
The discussion, both here and in Iraq, over Maliki's suggestion of a possible amnesty for resistance fighters who have attacked occupation forces, has been truly Orwellian. People in the U.S., including I am sorry to say much of the Democratic congressional delegation and a good part of the liberal blogosphere and chattering classes, apparently do not understand that the United States attacked and invaded Iraq. The Iraqi army fought back. Ultimately much of it went underground and continued to fight in guerilla mode. There has been no peace settlement. In fact, although as far as I know nobody has pointed this out, the government of Iraq never surrendered.
When a war ends and a peace treaty is signed, combatants return to home, and POWs are released. People who fight against foreign invaders are not terrorists, criminals, or murderers. Obviously, if the new Iraqi government ever wishes to end the insurgency and establish a true national unity government, it must come to agreement with the resistance and bring it into the political structure.
This Washington Post story tells the bizarre story of Maliki trying to maneuver between reality and his American masters. On Wednesday, he gave a press conference, in Arabic, which was televised, at which he said, "reconciliation could include an amnesty for those 'who weren't involved in the shedding of Iraqi blood. Also, it includes talks with the armed men who opposed the political process and now want to turn back to political activity.'" Yesterday, he fired an aide who had, in essence, repeated Maliki's own words to reporters, saying "Mr. Adnan Kadhimi doesn't represent the Iraqi government in this issue, and Mr. Kadhimi is not an adviser or spokesman for the prime minister. It is not true what some of the media outlets, including The Washington Post, have said about the willingness of the Iraqi government to talk with armed groups." Not true, except that Maliki said it himself, on television.
Meanwhile, back in the U.S.A., in the warped Congressional debate on Iraq staged by the Republicans, Republican Senators defended the amnesty idea - which I suppose they have to do since the administration line is that the new Iraq government is sovereign and legitimate -- while Democrats and their supporters attack them for supporting amnesty for "terrorists" who have "murdered" American forces "serving heroically in Iraq to provide all Iraqis a better future." Listen folks -- get this straight. It's a war. That's what happens in wars, people try to kill each other. If Iraqi resistance fighters who attack U.S. forces are terrorists and murderers, then by the precise same standard, U.S. troops in Iraq are terrorists who have murdered tens of thousands of Iraqis. You can't have it both ways.
Here is an excerpt from the Democratic press release:
DEMOCRATS FIGHT TO STOP AMNESTY FOR IRAQI TERRORISTS
Offer Senate resolution demanding reversal and retraction of reported Iraqi proposal
Washington, DC— Democrats today demanded an immediate retraction and reversal of the reported proposal that terrorists and insurgents who kill American soldiers in Iraq may be granted amnesty by the new Iraqi government.
“It is shocking that the Iraqi Prime Minister is reportedly considering granting amnesty to insurgents who have killed U.S. troops,” said Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid. “On the day we lost the 2,500th soldier in Iraq, the mere idea that this proposal may go forward is an insult to the brave men and women who have died in the name of Iraqi freedom. I call on President Bush to denounce this proposal immediately.”
Democrats offered a Resolution demanding that this policy be repudiated, and that President Bush immediately inform the government of Iraq—in the strongest possible terms—that the United States opposes granting amnesty to anyone who attacks American soldiers. The text of the Sense of the Senate resolution is attached below.
“We ask you Prime Minister Maliki, are you willing to have ‘reconciliation’ on the pool of American blood that has been spilled to give your people and your country a chance for freedom?” said Senator Menendez, a sponsor of the resolution. “We reject that notion and are outraged that the sacrifice of American troops and the American people could be so devalued.”
“Terrorists and insurgents shouldn’t be rewarded for killing American soldiers,” said Senator Bill Nelson, of Florida, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee who also sponsored the resolution.
Excuse me. Did the U.S. prosecute German, Italian and Japanese soldiers after WWII? Confederate soldiers after the Civil War? British soldiers after the war of independence? It's a war, get it? That means people are trying to kill each other. If you start a war, that's what happens. Bunch of fucking idiots.