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Isolating Al Qaeda

A rift is growing between Sunni insurgents and al Qaeda, which Coalition commanders are using to their advantage:

Insurgent leaders and Sunni Arab politicians say divisions between insurgent groups and Al Qaeda in Iraq have widened and have led to combat in some areas of the country, a schism that U.S. officials hope to exploit.


The Sunni Arab insurgent leaders said they disagreed with the leadership of Al Qaeda in Iraq over tactics, including attacks on civilians, as well as over command of the movement.

U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, on his last day in Iraq, said Monday that American officials were actively pursuing negotiations with the Sunni factions in an effort to further isolate Al Qaeda.

"Iraqis are uniting against Al Qaeda," Khalilzad said. "Coalition commanders have been able to engage some insurgents to explore ways to collaborate in fighting the terrorists."

Insurgent leaders from two of the prominent groups fighting U.S. troops said the divisions between their forces and Al Qaeda were serious. They have led to skirmishes in Al Anbar province, in western Iraq, and have stopped short of combat in Diyala, east of Baghdad, they said in interviews with the Los Angeles Times.

How are the Democrats going to explain the continuing improvements in Iraq? They virulently opposed the surge, yet the longer it goes on, the better things get. This is not good news for them.


Comments (20)

The Baathist insurgents hav... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

The Baathist insurgents have always loathed the foriegners (Al-Qaeda). The Iraqi Sunnis of the Baath Party are of the Nasser Pan-Arab-Nationalist stripe the Arabians always deplored for being too Western.

And we could have skipped the years of mess if the Baathists were made vassals in 2003.

Maybe Bush can keep his eye on the ball this time.

How are the Democrats go... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

How are the Democrats going to explain the continuing improvements in Iraq?...This is not good news for them.

Something that slightly bothers me about this sentiment, and it's this: Going "I told ya so" or "you were wrong!" only stoops to the level of juevenile vitriol best left to the moonbats--though I completely understand the temptation to do so.

We should ALL be glad "the surge" is working, regardless of political affiliation.

(Did I pair my Pollyanna hat with my goody-two-shoes on today, or what?)

"And we could have skipped ... (Below threshold)
yo:

"And we could have skipped the years of mess if the Baathists were made vassals in 2003."

If they were protected, would that have avoided the mess, or would it simply given it a different flavor (considering that one should not trust a baathist and such)? That's assuming, of course, they'd have gone along, in the first place.

Not being critical of your point, B, just kicking up some discussion fodder.

Spilt milk, now, of course ...

"How are the Democrats goin... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

"How are the Democrats going to explain the continuing improvements in Iraq?"

Democrats will claim its early results of the withdrawal plan.

I kid you not.

The surge seems to be work... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

The surge seems to be working a little while holding some neighborhoods in Baghdad, that are safe to walk around according to John McCain but it's difficult to measure progress. It was President with his singular logic, who said in 2003 about the high Iraq civilain casualties figures that "The more successful we are on the ground, the more these killers will react." Less civilian death seems a much better sign of progress.

They virulently opposed ... (Below threshold)
Brian:

They virulently opposed the surge, yet the longer it goes on, the better things get.

This has nothing to do with the surge. The Iraqis hated AQ long before Bush ever uttered the word "surge".

This is not good news for them.

You're right. It's just old news.

Democrat reply, But, But, B... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

Democrat reply, But, But, But, or as Dingy Harry Reid said, it's too late we must pull out right now. Hey, he'd make a hell of a coach in any sport. End the first half with the visiting team one point down and they aren't allowed to return to competition. Typical idiot democrat response, when they see the light at the end of the tunnel and realize it's the oncoming freight train doing 90 MPH, that they're fixing to lose to. There is now way they can afford for America to win this or any other war. They are totally invested in the American people being losers without any pride. That way they vote democrat.

Looks like the Democrats ar... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

Looks like the Democrats are going to have to get more aggressive on the timetable; otherwise, we may win this thing despite their efforts.

This has nothing ... (Below threshold)
Jumpinjoe:
This has nothing to do with the surge. The Iraqis hated AQ long before Bush ever uttered the word "surge".

It has nothing to do with whether or not there has been support for al-Qaeda. It is whether or not Iraqis feel the security is such that they can turn people in and not fear retaliation.

If you spend some time in the mil-blogs you can read where some very anti-American areas have been pacified due to increased security and relations with the locals.

That is why these neighborhoods in Baghdad are now being pacified and the first initial phase of the "surge' are showing progress. (To the dismay of the lefties)

I usually read Blackfive mil-blog and work my way around from there.

BLACKFIVE LINK

Good link there today......

News From The Front

Railing against the destructive philosophy of the nihilistic Left -- the contrarians whose favorite word is "No" and philosophy is DEFEAT. To them America isn't First; it's Wrong

Have you heard or sensed any shift in Iraqis against insurgents (i.e. the Anbar Salvation Council is allegedly fed up with Al-Qaeda and are now battling them in places like Habbaniyah)?

Yes, there is a definite shift in how Iraqis view insurgents. Iraqis are turning in insurgents, calling when they see IEDs and even chasing away bad guys in some cases. Is it enough? No, not yet, but it is improvement and hopefully the momentum is shifting enough to make it a permanent thing. Only time will tell.

What gives you the greatest satisfaction with your current mission? What gives you the least?

The best part is seeing the Iraqis take charge of situations in the area. From IED discoveries to crowd control to providing security for pilgrims moving through the area, the Iraqi Army and Police are performing more and more of those tasks with less involvement from Coalition Forces. We are able to mentor and guide more than having to take charge and lead them by the nose

Looks like the De... (Below threshold)
Jumpinjoe:
Looks like the Democrats are going to have to get more aggressive on the timetable; otherwise, we may win this thing despite their efforts

You never know, the moonbats that own the Democratic Party may get their way and have their minions throw the "hail Mary" which is complete troop de-funding.

I've been told over and over and read the lefty remarks that is the November election mandate. So why wouldn't anyone be surprised if they tried that tactic? I wouldn't, that's for sure.

And we could have skippe... (Below threshold)
Clay:

And we could have skipped the years of mess if the Baathists were made vassals in 2003.

Now what do you think the victims of the Dujail Massacre of 1982, the Barzani Clan Abductions of 1983, the al-Anfal Campaign, the Campaign Against the Marsh Arabs, the post-Uprising Massacres of 1991, and all of their families would say about your comment? So, you would alienate 65% of the Shi'a population by providing special treatment to the 32% that represent the Sunni population?

Yeah, that would have instilled trust amongst the millions who were subjected to Baathist atrocities.

The Democrats will do what ... (Below threshold)
LenS:

The Democrats will do what they and the MSM do best. They'll simply pretend. They'll pretend that nothing good is happening. They'll pretend that everything is worse than it's ever been. AND they'll pretend that they are the reason for all the good. They'll pretend that it was their idea. When you pretend, you can believe all sorts of contradictory stuff at the same time. And you get to pretend away the past and rewrite it to fit today's agenda. To be followed tomorrow by new pretending. It's what they do best -- pretend.

The "surge" won't be fully ... (Below threshold)

The "surge" won't be fully implemented in terms of troop assignments until late May. The successes we are seeing on the ground are the result of the revised ROE and more aggressive action against Iranian interference. These are the key policy changes which will have the most influence.

The actual "surge" only involves troops being held a bit longer in country and new deployments moving up a bit. By the end of the year, it will have all equaled out to the same number of troops we would have had in Iraq anyway.

How are the Democrats dealing with the early successes? By rushing to ensure defeat, of course. And, in so doing, endangering our troops in harm's way.

Despicable. But I'm not "questioning their patriotism," as they evidence none to question.

How are the Democrats de... (Below threshold)
Brian:

How are the Democrats dealing with the early successes? By rushing to ensure defeat, of course. And, in so doing, endangering our troops in harm's way.

Despicable. But I'm not "questioning their patriotism," as they evidence none to question.

And it's asinine attitudes like that that are responsible for the American people throwing the Republicans out of office, and overwhelmingly opposing the continuation of the war. But you keep on spouting it.

And it's asinine ... (Below threshold)
Jumpinjoe:
And it's asinine attitudes like that that are responsible for the American people throwing the Republicans out of office, and overwhelmingly opposing the continuation of the war

There's that "we have a mandate" thing again and yet if Democrats actually believed it then they would cut off funding just as their leftist base demands.

But they instead have to bribe moderate Democrats with pork just to get an exit date attached to a bill knowing from the beginning it would be vetoed. Yep, real brave and mandate fulfilling there Brian.

Maybe you can explain why you believe there is a mandate and yet those that were put into power will not seriously implement that mandate.

There's that "we have a ... (Below threshold)
Brian:

There's that "we have a mandate" thing again

Really? Where?!

Maybe you can explain why you believe there is a mandate

Maybe you can explain why you believe the only way you can respond to me is by inventing things I didn't say.

and yet those that were put into power will not seriously implement that

Umm, I believe Congress just passed a proposal to have our troops out by next year. That's what the people wanted. Now we'll see how Bush responds to it.

Its just plain suicidal and... (Below threshold)
epador:

Its just plain suicidal and stupid to allow terroristic operations to define success or failure, withdrawal or occupation, sustained operations versus chickensh8 cut and run. Teach folks we still don't have the stomach for bloody armed conflict and we are defeated. We are attempting something superior to the Russian Chechnya approach, which is total annihilation of the opposition. You can see how successful their approach in Afghanistan and Chechnya have been. I think they want to undermine us just to avoid being shown up. Similar to Left-leaning folks undermining our military and political efforts with their recent yellow-bellied actions.

Sigh.

BryanD has an excellent gra... (Below threshold)

BryanD has an excellent grasp of this issue. The secular oriented Sunni Baathist insurgents certainly have nothing in common with the small predominately Sunni Al Qaeda religious or political extremist oriented insurgents. At some point you'd expect the far larger Baathist elements to clear away the tiny estimated 1,000 member Al Qaeda forces and consolidate power for themselves as the predominant Sunni insurgent front.

Maybe you can exp... (Below threshold)
Jumpinjoe:
Maybe you can explain why you believe the only way you can respond to me is by inventing things I didn't say

The easiest way to explain it is to just post your very own words.

and overwhelmingly opposing the continuation of the war

That is insinuating Democrats have a mandate.

Umm, I believe Co... (Below threshold)
Jumpinjoe:
Umm, I believe Congress just passed a proposal to have our troops out by next year. That's what the people wanted.

Means nothing since they knew it would never get past a veto.

Where's that "cut off funding to troops" the Democrats base of supporters want?

What difference does it make if you pull them out tomorrow verses next year?


Now we'll see how Bush responds to it.

Oh of course, so Democrats can say President Bush "cut off funding" for the troops.





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