Juan Cole updates us
on the much ballyhooed "reconcilitation conference" in Iraq. This was an attempt to bring the civil war parties together to make some progress on stopping the civil war:
The long-awaited "reconciliation conference" was finally held in the Green Zone on Saturday, with 200 Iraqis of various persuasions present. But the Sunni guerrillas were not represented, and even most Sunni Arab parties were not there. Al-Hayat reports in Arabic that the Baathist guerrilla leaders, who were not invited, are saying that al-Maliki has gone back on his earlier promises to them. Al-Hayat says that the Association of Muslim Scholars (hardline Sunnis), the Congress of the Iraqi People of Adnan Dulaimi (fundamentalist Sunnis), and Salih Mutlak's Dialogue Front (ex-Baath secularists) all boycotted. Moreover, opposition figures living abroad, who had been invited, mostly declined to come. And Muqtada al-Sadr, the young Shiite clerical leader, turned down an invitation. So it doesn't sound to me as though this conference will amount to anything.
I think my question is, who did