Latest From The Iraqi Front, April 2007

I wanted to post a quick note of my thoughts on the developing (and rapidly changing) situation on the Iraqi front.

Check out this story from the AP wire, Iraqi Insurgents Now Fighting Each Other. It describes how some of the Sunni insurgents are turning against al-Qaida:

MUQDADIYAH, Iraq — At least two major insurgent groups are battling al-Qaida in provinces outside Baghdad, American military commanders said Friday, an indication of a deepening rift between Sunni guerrilla groups in Iraq.

U.S. officers say a growing number of Sunni tribes are turning against al-Qaida, repelled by the terror group’s sheer brutality and austere religious extremism. The tribes are competing with al-Qaida for influence and control over diminishing territory in the face of U.S. assaults, the officers say. The influx of Sunni fighters to areas outside the capital in advance of the security crackdown in Baghdad may have further unsettled the region.

The Iraqis are going to work it out. They will crush al-Qaida and inevitably find some stability. We can best accelerate this process if we stop kicking the hornet’s nest and get out of the way.

As this Staff Sgt. put it, “this is our generation’s Vietnam,” and they are caught in a civil war they can’t win.

Is it “supporting the troops” to keep them in such an untenable situation?

American commanders cite al-Qaida’s severe brand of Islam, which is so extreme that in Baqouba, al-Qaida has warned street vendors not to place tomatoes beside cucumbers because the vegetables are different genders, Col. David Sutherland said.

Such radicalism has fueled sectarian violence in Iraq and redrawn the demographics of many mixed Sunni-Shiite towns in Diyala, where tens of thousands of Shiites have been forced to flee large population centers.

These guys are CRAZAAAAY!! Fruit segregation is nowhere in the Koran, but evidently this is something extremist groups are pushing. Check out this video:

The Iraqi people aren’t buying what the al-Qaida types are selling; they have nothing to offer but neurotic religious stringency and authoritarianism, and almost no one wants to live under that. Al-Qaida is already being marginalized and would have no meaningful support at all if there were no Western “Crusaders” in the region to attack (antipathy toward Europeans from Medieval times runs so deep that some Arabs paint houses blue to ward off “the blue-eyed devils”).

“Iraqis are sick of foreign people coming in their country and trying to destabilize their country.” —George W. Bush
The president was jabbing at the Iranians here; he has no ability to detect the irony of saying this while commanding 160,000+.foreign people in Iraq.

We toppled Saddam, our military was victorious. Now it’s a political clash between competing factions and, unfortunately, there’s little more we can achieve other than exacerbating the violence.

It’s past time to leave Iraq! No more wasted blood and treasure, please!

But of course, guys like Congressman Don Young say you should be executed for treason if you want to pull out. How do we find solutions in that climate?

Sadly, we will likely be bogged down in Iraq for years to come.