"U.S. officials have called the meeting a make-or-break moment for the government, which was formed in 2006 to reduce violence by including all groups but has been paralysed by boycotts and infighting on ethnic and sectarian lines.
The worst split occurred this month when the main Sunni Arab bloc, the Accordance Front, withdrew its six members.
"The Sunni Arabs, who along with Shi’ites and Kurds are one of the three parts of Iraqi society, will not be excluded from the government," Maliki said.
He said he hoped the front would return. But if not, he could replace them with others — possibly tribal sheikhs who have emerged in the past year at the helm of the first Sunni Arab armed groups loyal to the government and its U.S. allies.
The sheikhs have seized control of areas from insurgents in the western desert province of Anbar, and are believed to have national political ambitions. Asked if he had agreed to give the sheikhs seats vacated by the Front, Maliki said: "There are people who have come forward and offered to be an alternative."" Reuter
This makes Maliki seem a bit like Custer at the Little Big Horn or Chelmsford at Isandhlwana.
So, he is going to replace the Sunni politicians with tribal sheikhs and village mukhtars? Great idea. The whole thing may hold together long enough, just long enough.
Realistically, the most likely outcome of his coming failure to make political peace among ethnic enemies will be his replacement. Then we will go through this drill with the next man.
Well, let’s get on with it! Eventually we will decide that we have to make enough deals with enough players to enable us to leave. pl