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A couple must-reads for insight into the complexity of the "resistance" in Iraq. First, Michael Ware's Time Magazine report speculating on possible splits in the insurgency.
But a TIME investigation, based on dozens of interviews with military and intelligence officials as well as Iraqi leaders inside and outside the insurgency, reveals that Iraqis are reclaiming the upper hand, forcing al-Zarqawi to adjust. Differences between Baathist insurgent groups and al-Qaeda are driven by discomfort with al-Zarqawi's extreme tactics and willingness among some Iraqi commanders to join the political process. U.S. officials in Baghdad confirm to TIME that they have stepped up their efforts to negotiate with nationalist insurgents and the Sunnis they represent. "We want to deal with their legitimate concerns," U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad tells TIME. "We will intensify the engagement, interaction and discussion with them."Second, this report from the Associated Press:
SAMARRA, Iraq -- After keeping their distance for months, Iraqis in this Sunni Arab city suddenly began cooperating with U.S. troops, leading them to insurgents and hidden weapons caches. The reason: anger over a local tribal chief's assassination by insurgents.Allegiances shift as rapidly as the sands, but signs of progress are evident.
If we don't snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
And speaking of Rules of Engagement - like Grim, I was a bit disturbed by this story claiming new restrictive R.O.E. essentially tied a soldiers hands if under attack, though it seemed too bad to be true. And according to this follow-up post it is.
This would be good news if it were true. Unfortunately, any announcement from the U.S. military in Iraq ought to be read in the opposite light from its wording. These people have a long track record of lying about every single thing that happens there. Baghdad Bob had nothing on the Pentagon, that's for sure.Posted by Wilson Kolb at December 7, 2005 05:33 AM Hide Comments | Show/Add Comments in Popup Window(1) | (Note: You must refresh main page to view newly posted comments here)