Friday, June 1, 2007

Hip Hip Hoorah ... For The Sheiks

Looks like a group of Sunni Sheiks have finally decided which side of the war on terror they want to be on. It seems that in one western neighborhood of Baghdad called Amiriyah, the Islamic Army and the Brigades of the 1920 Revolution are taking on (and killing) the forces of the Islamic State of Iraq.

My first take on hearing this was "what???" so let me break it down for all of us. The Islamic Army and Brigades of the 1920 Revolution are nationalist groups led by former Saddam supporters and the Islamic State of Iraq is an Al-Qaeda led force. The two nationalist groups are fighting as part of a coalition put together by some Sunni Sheiks called the Salvation Council ... and all these new names just as I was starting to figure out the difference between the Sunnis and the Shiia ... my brain hurts.

Seems these Sheiks have finally decided that the "clear and present danger" to them and their people are not the coalition forces (though they sure as h*ll don't embrace the US), they have decided that they have had enough of the Al-Qaeda terrorists killing tribal leaders and civilians. Most of these fighters were once attacking coalition forces, their change of heart should lift a little of the burden on coalition forces. The Salvation Council has announced a willingness to enter into a truce with the Iraqi government and Coalition.

What took so long?

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Anonymous said...

Paul, as discussed on The Lowest Rated Blog, we have made SOME progress in a couple of areas in IRAQ. For example, in the ANBAR province our troops were able to BUY the hearts and minds of some tribal leaders by giving them exactly what they needed [millions of dollars in cash and weapons]. And we can say that [as of now] buying hearts and minds in the ANBAR province was a GOOD investment.

Paul Champagne said...

tlrb ... after 3 plus years, it's about time we figured out what works in that part of the world. Our military should have listened to the CIA on this one ... they have been buying the hearts and minds of foreign nationals for years.

snowelf said...

You know, the Sheiks (geez, could that make them sound any more like some sort of sports team?lol!) may not exactly the most perfect of allies to us, but I think it's at least a step in a more hopeful direction.


lime said...

what took so long?? yer talking about a region where the culture dictates blood feuds be carried on for generation after generation....makes the mccoys and hatfields look like a friendly game of tag.

Anonymous said...

Paul, in ref to the CIA, they did a GREAT job in JIHADISTAN. As per some reports the CIA arrived with a bunch of briefcases packed with crispy 100-dollar bills [around 75 million dollars in cash], they were able to BUY the hearts and minds of the warlords, and imho that was another GOOD investment by part of the US government. We should have done the same thing in IRAQ - however, our war in IRAQ was supposed to be a walk in the park [NOT Jurassic Park], and we were supposed to be OUT of the country within 120 days [we are having some difficulties leaving]. tlrb

Rice said...

We shouldn't have to leave because we should have never been there to begin with.
Sorry, it just makes me so angry that so many soldiers lost their lives in this war and what exactly have we gained?

Paul Champagne said...

snowelf ... actually when I hear "The Shieks", I am reminded of a 50's pop band :D

lime ... good point, but even the worst of enemies should be able to put aside their differences when confronted by a greater threat. Now once Al-Qaeda is eliminated, they will have to make another choice ... I hope that during their cooperation with their enemies, some manner of trust and respect will have been formed (this is common on the battlefield), and that choice will be continued cooperation for a stable Iraq, there-by benefiting both sides. This is my hope ... I am not so naive as to think it will happen ... but it could.

tlrb ... 75 mil is a bargain basement type deal ... my hat is off to the CIA Bureau Chief on this one.

rice ... as of right now, you are right and we have achieved very little in Iraq. The potential if we ever get our heads out of our a*ses is unbelievable. A Democratic and free Iraq would be a success story that would be envied by all of the Arab citizens in the area and feared by the despots that rule them. Nothing is more of a threat to a dictator than freedom. Right now, Iran is sweating the possibility of a Democratic Afghanistan to the east and a Democratic Iraq to the west. The Iranian people, especially their university students are very pro-Democracy. Also interesting is that Syria may be in the very same boat, with Iraq to the east and a Democratic Lebanon to the West. Seems almost like a strategy you would see on a chess board .... hmmm interesting.

I feel deeply for the families of our fallen soldiers, but I do know that if we cut and run, their deaths will have been for nothing. We obviously went into Iraq on faulty intelligence, but since we did, and we did destabilize the region by our actions ... we need to fix it.

Rice said...

Do you really see ANY chance of us stabalizing this country? We are so far out of our league. We have done nothing but make a mess out of the country. We were safer when Sadam was there.
I understand what you are saying about stabalizing the country but I don't think it will ever happen. What will happen is more soldiers will die. We just lost one from our hometown within the last two days.
This is now a civil war, thanks to us.

Paul Champagne said...

rice ... you are very right, the mess in Iraq is our fault (though I'm glad that Saddam is gone). We need to fix the situation because it is our fault.

Yes I do think the situation can be stabilized, and I think the troop surge just might be working.

I live outside an Ft Bliss and they have taken more than their share of casualties (6 dead in January alone), but I do not hear the soldiers complaining ... in fact, when they talk about it, they have a positive "can-do" attitude about what is going on. I am not over there, so I have to take their word for it.