The Curmudgeon


Friday, April 07, 2006

We Never Talk to Terrorists

The American ambassador in Iraq has spared the sovereign, independent Iraqi government the stigma of doing something civilised people never do; he has negotiated with terrorists. It is to be hoped that this action, presumably carried out in the name of the greatest country in the world, does not count as a glorification, especially as the American ambassador in Iraq is really only an Afghan. The ambassador has taken the sensible precaution of ruling out talks with Saddamists or those who seek a war on civilisation, and is concentrating his diplomatic offensive upon "people who are willing to accept this new Iraq, to lay down their arms, to co-operate in the fight against terrorists". No doubt some of the insurgents in Iraq belong to this mild-mannered breed, but I would not care to guess at how many. Still, the discussions are apparently bearing fruit: according to the ambassador, after a mere thirty-five months attempting to restore order, "last month was the second lowest month of attacks against the coalition". If this is true, it would appear that many of the vicissitudes which have afflicted the occupation have been the fault of people who are willing to accept the new Iraq and co-operate in the fight against terrorists. Those natives are a paradoxical lot, to be sure; doubtless something to do with their past, when "Sunni Muslims ... have historically dominated the country in political terms despite making up a minority of the population" - a situation the British empire, for which Gordon Brown recently encouraged us to stop apologising, must have done its very best to ameliorate.


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