Thursday, January 25, 2007

Iraqi Official Offers Terms From Militia to Avoid Fight

NYT reported An Iraqi official authorized to speak on behalf of field commanders for the country’s most powerful militia has approached Western military officials and laid out a plan to avoid armed confrontation, senior Iraqi and American officials said this week.... During the meetings, which took place on Jan. 17 and, most recently, on Monday, Mr. Daraji laid out a proposal from what he said were all the major political and militia groups in Sadr City, the senior Iraqi official said. The groups were eager to head off a major American military offensive in the district, home to two million Shiites, as the Americans begin a sweeping new effort to retake the streets of Baghdad.

They know they are no match for the Americans, and they don't want to fight them.
Mr. Daraji said in an interview that field commanders would forbid their foot soldiers to carry guns in public if the American military and the Iraqi government met several basic demands, mostly involving ways to ensure better security for Sadr City. He is communicating with the commanders through a Shiite politician who is close to them.
Just turn the weapons into the Government Then they will not be tempted to carry them.
“The task is to eliminate the armed presence in Sadr City,” he said. “To confiscate illegal weapons,” carried openly by militia members in public places.
No, the task is to disarm all militias. Only the Iraqi government, and the Coalition Forces, should have weapons. If you just don't carry them in public, then when the Americans leave, you will pull them back out and start right in again killing Sunnis.

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