Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Switching Sides in Iraq

Some good reporting on the new alliance of "former" Sunni insurgents and US forces against al Qaeda in Al Anbar province. (From the CNN transcript)

Reporter Michael Ware speaks to Sunni leader Abu Ahmed:

"The insurgents will never stop until they liberate Iraq," Abu Ahmed (ph) says in front of the former al Qaeda headquarters. "We respect them, and, God willing, they will liberate Iraq. We are all against the occupation and for the establishment of a national Iraqi government."

Fears in Baghdad and in America of U.S. troops supporting armed groups opposed to the government are not unfounded.

Abu Ahmed (ph) insists that, "If our demands are not met by our petitions and by demonstration, then we will carry weapons and defend our Iraq."

Michael Ware's analysis:

These guys made it very clear to us on this day and on other days when I have contact with other groups, they are opposed to the Maliki government and any government that they believe is beholden to Iranian influence, a belief shared by many within the U.S. mission. So, these are anti-government forces that America is supporting against the government it created. And, certainly, within the Iraqi government, they believe that this is America building Sunni militias to act as a counterbalance to their influence.


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