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Iraq: What Reconciliation?

2:38 PM, Jul 27, 2009 • By BILL ROGGIO
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We're constantly told that the "surge" of U.S. forces into Iraq failed because Sunni, Shia, and Kurds have refused to look past sectarian views and have rejected reconciliation. So when news of some real attempts at reconciliation arise, it is often ignored, but not here. Today, the Iraqi Awakening, the movement of Sunni tribes and former insurgent groups that banded together in Anbar province in 2006 and expanded throughout Iraq, has indicated it is close to allying with Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki, who is often accused of being Shia sectarian and a pawn of the Iranians.

We are close to an alliance with Premier Nouri al-Maliki's list in the next elections," the head of the Awakening Conference, Sheikh Ahmed Abu Risha, told Aswat al-Iraq news agency, highlighting what he described as Maliki's national project and scientific approach to developing the country.

Public elections are scheduled to take place in Iraq in January 2010 to choose a new parliament for the country.

"This alliance will serve as a deterrent to sectarianism, racism and partisanship…," Abu Risha added.

The Awakening has the largest majority in Anbar province and has strong backing in many of the Sunni-dominated provinces. The Awakening could not maintain control of Anbar if the Sunnis in any way felt they were Iranian stooges.