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Homeland Security Advisory

May 23, 2007

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There's Good News from Iraq

Wednesday, Some 30 tribes in Al Anbar formed an alliance, the "Anbar Awakening," in September and pledged to fight Al Qaeda militants in the insurgency-plagued province by forming their own paramilitary units and sending recruits to the local police force.

There is good news from Iraq, believe it or not. It comes from the most unlikely place: Anbar province, home of the Sunni insurgency. The level of violence has plummeted in recent weeks. An alliance of U.S. troops and local tribes has been very effective in moving against the al-Qaeda foreign fighters. A senior U.S. military official told me—confirming reports from several other sources—that there have been "a couple of days recently during which there were zero effective attacks and less than 10 attacks overall in the province (keep in mind that an attack can be as little as one round fired).

This is a result of sheiks stepping up and opposing AQI [al-Qaeda in Iraq] and volunteering their young men to serve in the police and army units there." The success in Anbar has led sheiks in at least two other Sunni-dominated provinces, Nineveh and Salahaddin, to ask for similar alliances against the foreign fighters. And, as TIME's Bobby Ghosh has reported, an influential leader of the Sunni insurgency, Harith al-Dari, has turned against al-Qaeda as well. It is possible that al-Qaeda is being rejected like a mismatched liver transplant by the body of the Iraqi insurgency.

The good news comes with caveats, of course. The removal of AQI's havens in Anbar may ultimately hurt the terrorists' ability to blow up markets in Baghdad, but it hasn't yet. As I reported in September 2005, there is also the scandalous reality that an alliance with the tribes was proposed by U.S. Army intelligence officers as early as October 2003 and rejected by L. Paul Bremer's Coalition Provisional Authority on the grounds that "tribes are part of the past.

They have no place in the new democratic Iraq." The damage caused by that myopic stupidity may never be repaired: it gave al-Qaeda a base in the Sunni tribal areas, which enabled the sustained, spectacular anti-Shi'ite bombing campaign, which, along with the Sunnis' historic disdain for the Shi'ite majority, created the conditions for the current civil war. "Just because the Sunni tribesmen have joined with us in Anbar doesn't mean they like the Baghdad government," a senior Administration official told me. "They just hate al-Qaeda more."

Which is why there is some very bad news from Iraq as well. There is a growing sense among senior U.S. military and intelligence officials that the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki—and the Shi'ite factions in general—has little interest in making concessions to the Sunnis. "The Shi'ites suffer from a battered-child syndrome. They simply don't trust the Sunnis," said a senior U.S. official. There was a long history, even before Saddam Hussein's massacres, of Sunni prejudice and pogroms against the Shi'ites.

In recent months, the al-Maliki government has sent several clear signals of anti-Sunni intransigence. It has supported the "voluntary" relocation of Sunni Arabs from the disputed, Kurdish-dominated city of Kirkuk. And in an instance that is particularly vexing to U.S. intelligence officials, al-Maliki has supported the creation of a parallel Shi'ite-dominated intelligence service to supplant the authority of the Iraq Intelligence Service, which has been run by a Sunni general named Mahmoud Shahwani, who is considered "very effective" by U.S. officials. It is beginning to seem quite implausible that the various Iraqi political factions will meet "benchmarks" like rescinding the punitive de-Baathification programs and passing a law guaranteeing fair distribution of oil profits anytime soon.

And as General David Petraeus keeps reminding us, a political solution is necessary: a military victory is not possible. So let's try to put the good and bad news together. It's not impossible that the Iraqis will eventually remove the al-Qaeda cancer from the Sunni insurgency—which would put a serious crimp in President George W. Bush's current rationale for the war, that we're there to fight al-Qaeda. But it's also probable that without a political deal, the sectarian conflict between the Sunnis and Shi'ites will intensify—and eventually explode when the U.S. military pulls back from Iraq. The stakes in Iraq then become questions of moral responsibility and regional stability.

"How many Srebrenicas do you have the stomach for?" a senior U.S. official asked me, referring to the Bosnian massacre by the Serbs in 1995. Given the antipathy of the American people for the war, I'd guess the public reaction would be, "Those Arabs are just a bunch of barbarians, and we could never tell the difference between Shi'ites and Sunnis anyway." A more pointed question is, How many massacres of Sunnis will the Saudis and Jordanians have the stomach for? How hard will Iran press its obvious advantage with a Shi'ite-dominated government in Iraq? The answers to those questions are completely out of American hands. They rest with the Iraqi Shi'ites. Eventually even battered children have to grow up.

GOOD NEWS: Al-Qaeda in Iraq Is in Retreat in Anbar Province...


Iraqi Security Forces Increase

Also Blogging:

Spark's From The Anvil
Well It's about time we start hearing some good news coming from Iraq. If we all keep our Resolve, the MSM will have NO choice but to report on the good news!



Anonymous Anonymous said...

mullah cimoc say now time for him aemriki making the full investigation for discover:

1. Who starting this war?

2. Who faking the WMD intel?

3. What am him neocon? Am he the dual national israel citizen, or maybe him wife,
she a israeli citizen? Why so much israel connection. What him third party
country providing the fake wmd intel?

4. Why the nobody at us military academy at west point teach ameriki soldier read three volume treatise by chairman mao tse tung on guerilla warfare? So obvious for anyone study this subject: foreign occupier never succeed against determined guerilla resistance unless garrison entire country, this meaning every city, the town, the village. This taking the 1,000,000 ameriki soldier.

So much the suffering and destroy too many people even the aemriki people. USA woman take the LBT (low back tattoo) and the son he becoming the gay man with the beautifyl finger tip. Why this happen?

Am usa media so control for him google: mighty wurlitzer +cia and learning
him usa press not the free now.

so many aemriki boys, them die for who? Who the making this war.

May 23, 2007 7:48 PM  
Blogger Marie's Two Cents said...



Come back and tell me what you are talking about when you are sober.

May 23, 2007 9:15 PM  
Blogger Mike's America said...

Interesting comment above. Was the IP from China?

If so, I'd like to know what effective alternative policy China is pushing to handle these difficult problems. Thus far, we've only seen China and Russia obstruct U.S. efforts to deal with issues like Iraq or Iran.

P.S. Marie "the MSM will have NO choice but to report on the good news" might be a bit optimistic. They are NEVER going to report good news. That would imply they were wrong and they are never wrong (in their minds).

May 23, 2007 10:03 PM  
Blogger Marie's Two Cents said...


I dont see China on the menu.

It's probably the same ? that says "Unknown Country"

Then when things calm down Mike, and the MSM isnt showing a car bomb going off and that Paris Hilton is doing just fine in the Pokey, we will know all is well in Baghdad.

Maybe that's how we need to decipher the MSM from now on.

May 23, 2007 10:11 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Try googling "mullah cimoc". I remember this spamtard leaving an inane comment on Flopping Aces. Curt said he ran a search, and apparently this name is quite frequent on blogs, or something. Sorry, it was so unimportant, I can't remember Curts' exact words.

As far as insurgencies go, a new Pentagon study/manual says that insurgencies are historically never successful, and gets easier to quell after 10 years. It takes resolve and determination to outlast the enemy. That's what is needed.

Democrat defeatists and white flag Republicans have already done much damage, as evidenced here.

Expect things to get worse, before they get better, as our enemies will attempt to make September a bloodbath in hopes of influencing politics back here at home, and breaking our will to sustain casualties for the sake of victory.

You mentioned Anbar, but don't forget that the same success is being aimed at Diyala Province

May 23, 2007 11:57 PM  
Blogger Marie's Two Cents said...


I googled "mullah cimoc" and check this out LOL

All Kinds of Neat Finds Here

I know it's a messy situation but one that has to be done and for anyone that think's it doesnt have to be done try thinking of the consequences of Iraq becoming a terrorist playground and they will be able to plot and plan and follow us here for sure.

I know things will get worse before they get better, but they will get better, Hell we are still in Kosovo 12 years later?

My Resolve will REMAIN strong Word.

May 24, 2007 12:18 AM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Meh....looks like mullah cimoc comments on even looney left blogs, as I recognize "One Utah" as a lefty blog that has harrassed "A Soldier's Perspective". CJ figured out that multiple posting names from One Utah were coming from the same IP address, including one person posing as a gold star mom.

May 24, 2007 12:36 AM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

I know your resolve will remain firm. God bless you.

May 24, 2007 12:38 AM  
Blogger Marie's Two Cents said...


Then we will all just have to start looking out fo "mullah cimoc" I guess.

He seems Muslim to me, Muslims seem to spell us Americans Amerikans! Hmm

Inpersonating a Gold Star Mom is the lowest of the low.

Boy I wish this loon would leave a webpage behind.

You know MY resolve with remain firm Word, Thank's :-)

May 24, 2007 12:42 AM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Army colonel's gamble pays off in Iraq

The 200

May 24, 2007 12:31 PM  
Blogger Marie's Two Cents said...


I was going to say that needed to be a post and you read my mind lol

Good for you, keep spreading the good news from Iraq.

Semper Fi

May 24, 2007 1:32 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

More positives to report.

May 25, 2007 8:53 AM  

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