Monday, July 09, 2007

Backing the Sunnis?

So, what is going on here? I read in the paper that British authorities have issued charges against Bilal Abdullah, the Iraqi doctor driving the Jeep Cherokee that crashed into Glasgow Airport. I thought we were fighting a war against terror, not coddling terrorists (due process is only for good criminals, like rapists and murderers). I'm wondering why our limp-wristed, tea drinking allies in the war on terror aren't dropping 2000 lbs bombs on these guys; or hooding them; or whisking them away to undisclosed locations for enhanced interrogation or something manly like that. This is the WOT, not a job for law enforcement! Giving them their day in court only undermines our cherished freedoms. Geez, Louise!

It's sort of telling, though, that even the terrorists in Iraq want out. They've decided to join the other 4 million Iraqis already on the move. I thought I heard somewhere -- don't quote me on this -- that 9000 Iraqi doctors had immigrated to the UK since W. started his perfect little war 2003. If even half that number is correct, then Iraq has big problems.

But, we already knew that. The thing now is to stay the course. In his wisdom, our great war leader told a crowd of captive National Guardsmen on the 4th of July that if we were to leave Iraq now: "The terrorists we are fighting would not lay down their arms. They would follow us here."

The problem with that old lie is that the Iraqi terrorists have followed British home and apparently these two doctors in the UK were trying to make it over here, too. AP reports:

"Two suspects in the British terrorism case contacted a U.S. agency that certifies foreign doctors about coming to the United States, the FBI said Friday."

Who knows how many other terrorists with professional credentials might have slipped through the cracks?

Not to say the DoJ could possibly drop the ball on allowing terrorists into the country or anything, but . . . well, that is what I'm saying. Now that Al Gonzales is laying low, deep in the bunker with the Veep and all his subordinates have either quit or are under subpoena, it's hard to see him paying too much attention much of anything else besides getting to the finish line.

And meanwhile ICE is totally bent on proving to the AM radio crowd how tough they are on illegal-immigrants, so it's not beyond the realm of possibility to speculate that one or more of these guys might be setting up shop as we speak.

In that case, it sure would be nice to have all the thousands of first responders in the Guard, currently fighting in Iraq, back here. Because it seems to me that the only ones we have to worry about are a relatively small number of al-Qaeda types over there that aren't going to be got by any surge.

Despite the doomsday scenario W. and his apologists paint, the Sunni insurgents who make up the bulk of the people we're fighting over there, aren't about to load themselves onto troop carriers and storm the Jersey shores if we pull our troops out tomorrow.

In fact, many of these old line insurgents are now out best buddies. Michael Gordon reports in the NYT that many Sunnis are "less inclined to see the [our] soldiers as occupiers now that it is clear U.S. troop reductions are all but inevitable, and are more concerned with strengthening their ability to fend off threats from militias." Those being the Shiites and al-Qaeda. The military for its part is more than happy to enlist the help of groups like the 1920s Revolutionary Brigade to root out terrorists and IEDs. Gordon writes that "U.S. officers have been willing to overlook the insurgent past of some of their new allies." [I bet.]

It turns out our commanders on the ground have pretty much given up on the Shiite government in Baghdad being able to do anything about the security situation. Which kind of presents an awkward situation: While W. is burning up the video conferencing lines telling his good buddy Nuri al-Maliki he supports him 100%, his commanders on the ground are shunting the al-Maliki's security forces aside and doing business with Sunni insurgents who up until a few months ago were fighting pitched battles with those same forces and -- oh yeah -- planting IEDs and taking potshots at our guys.

But, that’s all in the past. We're friends now. Wasn't there a rather large uproar in Congress last year when news slipped out that we were talking to groups that might have killed US troops? Not so much now, though, Congressmen up for re-election next year all of a sudden see the practicality of doing deals with the Sunnis.

I don’t want to say I told you so, but I told you so. I predicted this development last year.

I wrote in LTAD in March of '06:

"I said it along time ago and I'll say it again, we're going to eventually wind up backing the Sunnis. The Shiites may be the majority in Iraq, but the Sunnis are the majority around the region. If we ever expect to get the help of our Arab allies in the Middle East, we're going to have to back the Sunnis. "

[And I went into this theory at length before that, but I can't find the quote now.]


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