Oct 13 2007

More Muslims Take Up Arms Against Al-Qaeda

Published by at 8:45 am under All General Discussions

An up close and personal (and biased by liberal media commentary) story of how one Shiek and his family went from insurgents to US allies:

hirteen members of Sheik Faisal Chilab’s family were slain by militants. The U.S. military arrested him twice. Three of his four sons were detained too.

Chaos and fighting were so widespread he couldn’t farm his land in this “triangle of death” region south of Baghdad. His date palm groves went untended.

Sometimes he couldn’t leave his home for days.

So, he struck a deal with the Americans. The Sunni Arab clan chief now has 500 tribesmen battling al-Qaida in Iraq and Shiite militiamen. The U.S. military pays them.

They spoke of the hardships of their agricultural community — their torment at the hands of the Shiite Mahdi Army and al-Qaida militants. They gave voice, too, to the divisive fallout in the community as a result of the new security arrangements.

“We want to reverse the marginalization of the Sunni Arabs and gain a bigger share of Iraq’s wealth and political power,” said Ahmed Ghazi, a veteran of Saddam’s army.

“Our awakening is our response to accusations that we are terrorists,” he said.

Regardless of their opposition to the U.S. presence in Iraq, none of the men at the feast criticized the clan’s new alliance with American forces. The deal was seen as the only option to secure their homes and property.

“Without the Americans, there would have been no awakening here,” said Ghazi.

And with time and joint success, the expected reservations may turn into some modest mutual respect. Especially when the day comes, and it will come, when America begins to pull back its forces and let Iraqis go it on their own. People always doubt our intentions until we start packing up to leave them to their country. Then the amazement really settles in.

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