CNN link Umm...does it seem to anyone else here that what is needed by the United States right now is diplomacy, not Bush constantly reiterating his plan to destroy the insurgency completely? Here we have the country, on its own, talking about dividing itself into autonomous regions (Clinton/Bosnia haters, please note), and insurgents willing to talk about reaching some kind of settlement, working its way out of the stalement in which both they and the U.S. find themselves. Okay, obvious objection: the U.S. doesn't negotiate with terrorists. Counter-objection: yeah, like that's always true. There seems to be plenty of breathing room for some hard dealing here. If the U.S. doesn't want to look like it's negotiating with terrorists, then it can, for example, insist that the insurgents' demands be brought forth through a more legitimate group, such as Sunni members of parliament. It can suggest that the U.S. troops will withdraw over a time period, in exchange for the drawing up of some firm, mutually-agreeable regional borders, with U.N. troops to monitor the peace for a specified period of time. And, such an agreement would have to assure that the Sunnis would share in the country's oil profits. It just seems to me that there's a lot of room here for some kind of an agreement which, while it does not make everybody completely happy, would still be far superior to the chaos that we are seeing today. What stands in the way of such a negotiation? Well, for one, you'd have to make sure that such negotiations would be agreeable to most of, if not all insurgents. But the really big problem is the Bush government's insistence, of course, that Iraq be ruled by one government, one parliament. Bush's vision is that the Iraqis will all someday stand in a circle and sing "Kumbaya", basking in the glow of democracy. This, while mired in the middle of a fiasco that is going nowhere and, if anything, is getting worse. Which path do you think is more likely to lead to a little peace?