Wednesday, June 29, 2005

New category for 'Iraqi Insurgents'?

Linked in the title above is an interesting post from Bilmon noting a shift in the terms Bush used in his speech last night to refer to the opposition forces in Iraqi. Whereas formerly these forces were lumped together as simply 'dead-enders', or 'terrorists,' or (my personal favorite) 'anti-Iraqi forces,' in last night's speech there was a more subtle differentiation between 'terrorists,' former-Baathists, 'criminal elements,' and finally, 'Iraqi insurgents.' For which, Bilmon suggests, we might read 'negotiating partners.' Given the admission--from Donald Rumsfeld, of all people--that the US has held talks w/ leaders of some insurgent groups, the change in language may signal that the Bush administration really does have, or is working on, and exit strategy for Iraq. At best this could involve incorporating some insurgents in a broader political process. At worst this could involve a sell-out of the current government and the resinstallation of a Baathist/Sunni strongman. I doubt the news that US officials are talkng with insurgents makes anyone in the 'sovereign' Iraqi government feel very good.

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