The Beginning of the End?


The Sunday Times of London reports the following:

American officials held secret talks with leaders of the Iraqi insurgency last week after admitting that their two-month clampdown on violence in Baghdad had failed.

Few details of the discussions in the Jordanian capital Amman have emerged but an Iraqi source close to the negotiations said the participants had met for at least two days.

They included members of the Islamic Army in Iraq, one of the main Sunni militias behind the insurgency, and American government representatives. The talks were described as 'feeler' discussions. The US officials were exploring ways of persuading the Sunni groups to stop attacks on allied forces and to end a cycle of increasingly bloody sectarian clashes with members of the majority Shi'ite groups.

According to the source, the key demand of the Islamic Army was the release of American-held prisoners in allied jails.

We'll see. The Baker commission is studying various options, it would appear. My own take on the dynamic situation can be read here. At some point, Washington may have to talk to Iran and Syria - or face meltdown.

(Photo: Yuri Kozyrev for Time.)