Even a BS detector with dead batteries would peg its meter when
waved over the following statements from the Sunni Party-Poopers.
I've added some translations of some of the more laughable face-savers:
Translation: "This boycott thing blew up in out faces, and we're getting posteriors handed to us. Please help us save face, and just forget about all those car bombs and dead fellow countrymen. It was just one of those things"
Conciliatory Line Carries Conditions
By Anthony Shadid
Washington Post Foreign Service
Saturday, February 5, 2005; Page A01
BAGHDAD, Feb. 4 -- Influential Sunni Arab leaders of a boycott of last Sunday's elections expressed a new willingness Friday to engage the coming Iraqi government and play a role in writing the constitution, in what may represent a strategic shift in thinking among mainstream anti-occupation groups.
The signs remain tentative... But in statements and interviews, some Sunni leaders said the sectarian tension that surged ahead of the vote had forced them to rethink their stance.
Translation: "We can't steal the county back through killing the rest of you, and you're winning, so we offer you a draw."
..."We are taking a conciliatory line because we are frightened that things may develop into a civil war," said Wamidh Nadhmi, the leader of the Arab Nationalist Trend and a spokesman for a coalition of Sunni and Shiite groups that boycotted the election. "The two sides have come to a conclusion that they have to respect the other side if they want a unified Iraq."
He cautioned, however, that "perhaps it will not succeed."
The Association of Muslim Scholars, one of the most influential groups, sent mixed signals this week -- saying it would respect the election results, while arguing that the new government will lack the legitimacy to draft a constitution. But the sermon Friday at the association's headquarters, the Um al-Qura mosque, was decidedly conciliatory...
A decision by Sunni Muslim and other anti-occupation groups to engage the new government and help draft the constitution would mark one of the most important shifts in Iraq since Saddam Hussein's fall in April 2003 (bold inserted)...
This is the meat of the article: everyday folks in this part of Iraq have had their fill of mindless violence and poser warlords. They were sold a bill of goods about the election boycott and now realize they have been cut out of a say in their future. And they've formed a posse, with pitchforks and torches...
..The shift in thinking appears to have arisen from a calculation that the election may have created a new dynamic in Iraq, as the country slowly moves past an emphasis on the U.S. occupation and more toward the blueprint of a future state. The groups do not speak for the insurgency, but the Association of Muslim Scholars, in particular, holds great sway in the Sunni Arab community in central and western Iraq, where there are signs of grass-roots discontent over the boycott.
...The insurgents "made fools of us," said Mahmoud Ghasoub, a businessman in Baiji, a restive northern town. "They voted to disrupt the elections but failed. Now we have lost both tracks. We did not vote, nor did they disrupt the elections."...
The tide is turning.