21.11.06

The Return of Tariq Aziz?

The Blog | Tom Hayden: U.S. Retreat from Iraq? The Secret Story | The Huffington Post:

Tom Hayden suggests that Tariq Aziz and a Malaki coup may be key components to Bush's exit strategy

According to credible Iraqi sources in London and Amman, a secret story of America's diplomatic exit strategy from Iraq is rapidly unfolding. The key events include:

First, James Baker told one of Saddam Hussein's lawyers that Tariq Aziz, former deputy prime minister, would be released from detention by the end of this year, in hope that he will negotiate with the US on behalf of the Baath Party leadership.

The discussion recently took place in Amman, according to the Iraqi paper al-Quds al-Arabi.

Second, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice personally appealed to the Gulf Cooperation Council in October to serve as intermediaries between the US and armed Sunni resistance groups [not including al Qaeda], communicating a US willingness to negotiate with them at any time or place. Speaking in early October, Rice joked that if then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld 'heard me now, he would wage a war on me fiercer and hotter than he waged on Iraq,' according to an Arab diplomat privy to the closed session.

Third, there was an 'unprecedented' secret meeting of high-level Americans and representatives of 'a primary component of the Iraqi resistance' two weeks ago, lasting for three days. As a result, the Iraqis agreed to return to the talks in the next two weeks with a response for the American side, according to Jordanian press leaks and al-Quds al-Arabi.

Fourth, detailed email transmissions dated November 16 reveal an active American effort behind the scenes to broker a peace agreement with Iraqi resistance leaders, a plot that could include a political coup against Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

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