The Associated Press is reporting today that Izzet Al-Douri, Saddam’s former Vice-President and the currently at-large figurehead of the Ba’athist renegades, has called for a general ceasefire. Allegedly, Al-Douri’s couriers carried his message to the various midlevel commanders of the insurgency only after Saddam was found guilty and sentenced to death.
If this story is true, then it bolsters the claims made recently on Talisman Gate that the Sunni insurgency is experiencing fatigue, and that the guilty verdict issued yesterday knocked the wind out of the insurgents’ resolve to fight for re-instating Saddam. It is also seems to confirm the notion that the most recent spike in violence over the last two months was timed to coincide with America’s midterm elections.
And if indeed Al-Douri gave the order, we will see many Ba’athist groups refusing to acknowledge his overall leadership or guidance over the insurgency, and shall continue to fight. But the overall picture will be that of a diminishing atmosphere of chaos, as the insurgents lose momentum and the Iraqi state catches its breath.
Some will tie this new development to ongoing negotiations between the Americans and some insurgent groups in Amman, as well as to the imminent relaxation of some de-Ba’athification regulations. That would be missing the many signs that have demonstrated that the insurgency sees itself being reversed by the combination of shrinking resources, an emboldened Iraqi state, and better information-gathering and counter-insurgency techniques on the part of the American military.
[The AP story is posted in full in the comments section]