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June 21, 2005

Blame Bush: Indigenous Iraqi Rebels Battle Foreign Al Qaeda Terrorists

The enemy of my enemy is my friend... kinda-sorta.

Now this is the sort of realpolitik that really gives me a chubby.

From Winds of Change's quote of the New York Times:

Late Sunday night, American marines watching the skyline from their second-story perch in an abandoned house here saw a curious thing: in the distance, mortar and gunfire popped, but the volleys did not seem to be aimed at them. In the dark, one spoke in hushed code words on a radio, and after a minute found the answer. "Red on red," he said, using a military term for enemy-on-enemy fire. Marines patrolling this desert region near the Syrian border have for months been seeing a strange new trend in the already complex Iraqi insurgency. Insurgents, they say, have been fighting each other in towns along the Euphrates from Husayba, on the border, to Qaim, farther west. The observations offer a new clue in the hidden world of the insurgency and suggest that there may have been, as American commanders suggest, a split between Islamic militants and local rebels. A United Nations official who served in Iraq last year and who consulted widely with militant groups said in a telephone interview that there has been a split for some time.

"There is a rift," said the official, who requested anonymity, citing the sensitivity of the talks he had held. "I'm certain that the nationalist Iraqi part of the insurgency is very much fed up with the Jihadists grabbing the headlines and carrying out the sort of violence that they don't want against innocent civilians."

Best. Story. Ever.

There are Sunnis who resent being pushed out of power by the Americans; their motivations for committing murder might be partially mitigated by the understandable objection to being invaded by a hostile foreign power.

On the other hand, there is the nihilistic murder-cult called Al Qaeda, which kills just to express its disatisfaction with the sorry state of much of the Islamic world.

It is good that the not-so-crazies are turning on the batshit-crazies. That's the key to political victory, after all-- co-opting the only-partially-crazy and turning them against the certifiable psychopaths.


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posted by Ace at 03:03 PM

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