“For reconciliation between the government and this political wing.” Hmm. Evidently they have forgotten, or no longer care, how it was that the government and this political wing became estranged in the first place.
“Iraq: Government in talks with former Saddam deputy,” from AKI, with thanks to Sr. Soph:
Erbil, 30 May (AKI) – Contacts are underway between Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki and the Baathist faction of Izzat al-Douri, former vice president during the Saddam era, according to a report on Kurdish language daily Aso. The scope of the contacts is “for reconciliation between the government and this political wing” the paper said. It quoted sources close to the government saying “the prime minister has created a high commission for directing the talks with the Douri faction, to be headed by an ex-aviation official.”…
Al-Douri, the “King of Clubs” in the US deck of cards naming the Saddam regime’s most wanted figures, gave an interview to Time magazine in July 2006, through written questions and answers passed on by Iraqi intermediaries. There have been reports that he has been living in Syria or Yemen or that he is dead.
The Iraqi leadership has in the past fiercely opposed any negotiations with Baathists involved in crimes against the Iraqi people. But among the recommendations that emerged from the conference in Sharm el-Sheikh earlier this month, on the situation in Iraq, was initiatives to support and boost national reconciliation.
Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri is one of three surviving plotters who carried out the coup that brought the Baath Party to power in 1968 and managed to survive Saddam’s frequent purges.
He was responsible for northern Iraq when chemical weapons were used there in 1988, and is accused of mass torture and murder.
Sure, but why let that get in the way of “national reconciliation”?