Thursday, June 15, 2006


But according to the Post's reporting, the amnesty plan is likely to include pardons for those who had attacked only U.S. troops,
There is a patriotic feeling among the Iraqi youth and the belief that those attacks are legitimate acts of resistance and defending their homeland."

"These people will be pardoned definitely, I believe," the adviser said. "We can see if somehow those who are so-called resistance can be accepted if they have not been involved in any kind of criminal behavior, such as killing innocent people or damaging infrastructure, and even infrastructure if it is minor will be pardoned."

He also suggested that there had already been talks with the U.S. command about the subject.

In his press conference yesterday, President Bush was asked about the program of amnesty and reconciliation, and he generally supported al-Maliki's efforts. But the President spoke in vague terms about the South African efforts to reconcile "the past," even accepting that membership in the Ba'ath Party -- "to secure a job or to be able to get an advanced degree" -- "shouldn't be held against a person."

"I was impressed by … the sophisticated nature of … discussion [in Baghdad]" on the subject, the President said, "and their recognition that it's really important to do the best they can to reconcile the past."

(U.S. soldiers stand on guard at the Abu Ghraib prison compound, shortly before another batch of 200 prisoners were freed under a national reconciliation plan announced by Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki last week to free a total of 2,500 inmates, in Baghdad, June 15, 2006. REUTERS/Ali Jasim (IRAQ))

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