Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Old War Is The New War

U.S. Now Arming Sunni Insurgents Again
Iraq's main Sunni-led resistance groups have scaled back their attacks on US forces in Baghdad and parts of Anbar province in a deliberate strategy aimed at regrouping, retraining, and waiting out George Bush's "surge", a key insurgent leader has told the Guardian.

US officials recently reported a 55% drop in attacks across Iraq. One explanation they give is the presence of 30,000 extra US troops deployed this summer. The other is the decision by dozens of Sunni tribal leaders to accept money and weapons from the Americans in return for confronting al-Qaida militants who attack civilians. They call their movement al-Sahwa (the Awakening).


Besides Ramadi, the Awakening movement was also operating in Sunni-majority districts of Baghdad, such as Ameriya, Adhamiya, and parts of Ghazaliya and Jihad. [A resistance cell leader] predicted it was unlikely to last for more than a few months. It was a "temporary deal" with the US and would split apart as people realised the Americans' true intentions.

He cited last week's announcement that the Bush administration plans to work with the Shia-led government of Nuri al-Maliki on arrangements for long-term US military bases and an open-ended occupation in Iraq.
Glenn Reynolds reads no deeper than the temporary lull of violence as proof that the U.S. is "winning the war" (against whom? the Shia militias? the Sunni insurgents?). Arming one set of religious radicals to aid the war against another, though, will not end the war. It didn't end the conflict in Afghanistan; it didn't end the Iran-Iraq squabble; it won't end the U.S.'s meaningless brawl.


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