Peace in Iraq

...is currently a pipedream. But it's still nice that someone is doing something:

Representatives from feuding Sunni and Shiite groups met Friday at a secret location in Finland to discuss ways of ending the bloodshed in Iraq, officials said.

The Crisis Management Initiative, a conflict-prevention group headed by former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari, said it was hosting the seminar to examine how lessons learned from peace processes in South Africa and Northern Ireland could be applied to Iraq.

Seminar organizers would not say who was attending, except to confirm that both "Sunni and Shiite groups" had arrived. Finnish broadcaster YLE said representatives of the radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and the leader of the largest Sunni Arab political group, Adnan al-Dulaimi, were at the gathering. Humam Hammoudi, the Shiite chairman of the Iraqi Parliament's foreign affairs committee, also was in Finland, YLE said.

The CMI had success with the Aceh talks, but there they had two clearly defined sides to bring together. Here we have some Shias and some Sunnis who almost certainly don't represent all the Iraqis killing other Iraqis. Then there are the foreign occupiers. Any peace deal absolutely needs the involvement of the United States.

Still, you got to try and the CMI should be commanded for doing so. As the CMI's Kalle Liesinen said, "It's not a question of peace talks but an attempt at directing people's thoughts to the future."

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