Monday, February 21

BACK-CHANNEL TALKS WITH IRAQI INSURGENTS UNDERWAY

This story from Yahoo News, and quoting from a Times' magazine report, says that "unidentified Washington and Iraqi sources" have advised the Times that what the Bush Administration has been unwilling to do formally, it is now doing through "back-channel communications" -- namely, conducting talks with "certain insurgents."

The report concludes, however:

Controversial Iraqi politician Ahmad Chalabi said on Sunday the outcome of any negotiations between insurgents and the U.S. military would not be binding for a new Iraqi government.
As Chalabi said pointedly to an interviewer on ABC's "This Week" show: The issue here is not negotiating with the killers who are killing the Iraqi people.