Nov 19 2007

Political Reconciliation In Iraq Is Alive And Well

Published by at 9:59 am under All General Discussions,Iraq

The streets of Iraq are not only becoming a hunting ground for al-Qaeda, they are becoming the place where political reconciliation is taking place from the ground up Some much so even the LA Times took notice:

Despite persistent sectarian tensions in the Iraqi government, war-weary Sunnis and Shiites are joining hands at the local level to protect their communities from militants on both sides, U.S. military officials say.

In the last two months, a U.S.-backed policing movement called Concerned Citizens, launched last year in Sunni-dominated Anbar province under the banner of the Awakening movement, has spread rapidly into the mixed Iraqi heartland.

Of the nearly 70,000 Iraqi men in the Awakening movement, started by Sunni Muslim sheiks who turned their followers against Al Qaeda in Iraq, there are now more in Baghdad and its environs than anywhere else, and a growing number of those are Shiite Muslims.

Commanders in the field think they have tapped into a genuine public expression of reconciliation that has outpaced the elected government’s progress on mending the sectarian rift.

“What you find is these people have lived together for decades with no problem until the terrorists arrived and tried to instigate the problem,” said Lt. Col. Valery Keaveny, commander of the 3rd Battalion, 509th Airborne unit in the Iskandariya area south of Baghdad. “So they are perfectly willing to work together to keep the terrorists out.”

Neighbors rediscovering neighbors – that is much of it. But also the Sunni have clearly admitted their mistake in allying with al-Qaeda. They naively bought into al-Qaeda’s fantasy of a modern caliphate, only to find the Islamo Facism reflecting a modern Nazi movement couched in greatness of Islam instead of instead of the greatness of the Aryan races.

The Sunnis have admitted their mistake by taking it upon themselves to rid Iraq of the animals they once naively allowed sanctuary. And by hunting down (and being killed) by al-Qaeda they have demonstrated clearly to the Shiia and Kurds they are once again Iraqi Muslims – not al-Qaeda goons (or victims, depending on the choice one makes).

As late as this summer, there were no Shiites in the community policing groups. Today, there are about 15,000 in 24 all-Shiite groups and 18 mixed groups, senior U.S. military officials say. More are joining daily.

Here in Qarghulia, a rural community east of Baghdad, the results are palpable. Killings are down dramatically and public confidence is reviving.

“Sunnis-Shiites, no problem,” said Obede Ali Hussein, 22, who stood at a checkpoint built by the U.S. Army along the Diyala River. “We want to protect our neighborhood.”

You do not need a law on the books in Baghdad to have reconciliation take place. As I pointed out days ago some of the most important benchmarks (oil distribution and de=Baathification) are being IMPLEMENTED without laws on the books.

If you look at the big five legislative initiatives that we’ve been trying to pursue, for example, none of them has been signed as a law yet. But I think what’s going on, on that front, is quite interesting. Take for example hydrocarbon legislation and de-Baathification, the biggest of the big five. There are no laws passed yet on either one of them, and yet the government is distributing oil revenue to Sunni provinces proportionately to their populations. And the government is hiring Sunnis into the Iraqi security forces.

Only a far left, big government liberal would be so ideologically blinded as to only admit reconciliation is occurring when a law gets past. Laws are designed to punish bad behavior. Few laws are put in place (and none should be) to force good behavior. You cannot legislate morality or character, that is where the libs fall down and the conservatives and libertarians have it right. The fact is reconciliation IS progressing rapidly in Iraq.

And why is that? Because the Surge was a huge success and broke al-Qeada’s back. Once Americans were willing to go into the neighborhoods and protect those ready to throw off al-Qaeda, the tide turn. And once al-Qaeda was on the run the Iraqis could reestablish their old bonds with their neighbors. Now there is truly a new ‘awakening’ in Iraq. It is the realization that America is a force for good, especially compared to Bin Laden’s al-Qaeda Butchers. And it is the realization Iraqis do have a bright future together in a democracy that binds their religious sects.

One response so far

One Response to “Political Reconciliation In Iraq Is Alive And Well”

  1. Neo says:

    We’re floundering in a quagmire in Iraq. Our strategy is flawed, and it’s too late to change it. Our resources have been squandered, our best people killed, we’re hated by the natives and our reputation around the world is circling the drain. We must withdraw.

    This must be the thoughts of UBL. al Qaeda has found Iraq to be a quagmire.