Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Is this good news or bad news?

I am not certain of the answer.

The Guardian (my juxtaposing emphasis) :
Al-Qaida in Iraq is being pushed out of its strongholds in Anbar province after three days of fighting with Iraq's fiercely independent tribes. A number of al-Qaida fighters have been killed and captured, including Saudis and Syrians.

The clashes erupted after a new grouping calling itself the Anbar Rescue Council - which claims to represent a large number of Anbar tribes and sub-clans - said it intended to clear the province of the terrorist group. It also follows a meeting between tribal leaders and the Iraqi prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, last week in which they asked for government support and arms in their fight against al-Qaida.


In the letter, written in December and found at the house where he died, Zarqawi is rebuked by Atiyah Abd al-Rahman, who is allegedly close to senior al-Qaida figures. He is warned "against attempting to kill any religious scholar or tribal leader who is obeyed, and of good repute in Iraq from among the Sunnis, no matter what." Zarqawi is told to improve relationships with other Sunni groups, use the al-Qaida name more judiciously and told ominously that he might be replaced.

It is these issues that have been at the heart of the rift between al-Qaida and the tribes, many of whose members support the nationalist resistance.
Asia Times Online:
The United States had earlier called for the disarming of all militias for the sake of peace and reconciliation, but that policy has clearly changed. The occupation forces now back both Shi'ite and Sunni militias in different areas of the country. These new groups are drawing strong condemnation from other Sunni tribal chiefs.

"They are a group of thieves who are arming thieves, and this is something dangerous and nasty," said Sheikh Sa'adoon, chief of a large Sunni tribe near Khaldiyah city in al-Anbar. "This only means we will have more disturbances here, and it could create local civil war."
The militia problem in Baghdad, as reported in the Washington Post:
"There was some possible complicity in allowing death squad elements to move freely when they should have been impeding them," he told a Baghdad press conference.

"The forces in the unit have not put their full allegiance to the government of Iraq and gave their allegiance to others," he said.

The suspended brigade has about 650-700 policemen, Interior Ministry spokesman Lt. Col. Karim Mohammedawi said.


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