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December 11, 2005

Unwinnable Watch: Insurgents Call For Sunnis To Vote, Forbid Al Qaeda From Attacking

Mike sends this under the heading "Astounding news from Iraq." It does seem pretty big:

Saddam Hussein loyalists who violently opposed January elections have made an about-face as Thursday's polls near, urging fellow Sunni Arabs to vote and warning al Qaeda militants not to attack.

In a move unthinkable in the bloody run-up to the last election, guerrillas in the western insurgent heartland of Anbar province say they are even prepared to protect voting stations from fighters loyal to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, leader of al Qaeda in Iraq.

Graffiti calling for holy war is now hard to find.

Instead, election campaign posters dominate buildings in the rebel strongholds of Ramadi and nearby Falluja, where Sunnis staged a boycott or were too scared to vote last time around.

"We want to see a nationalist government that will have a balance of interests. So our Sunni brothers will be safe when they vote," said Falluja resident Ali Mahmoud, a former army officer and rocket specialist under Saddam's Baath party.

"Sunnis should vote to make political gains. We have sent leaflets telling al Qaeda that they will face us if they attack voters."

Sometimes Arab Conspiracy Theories Go Our Way Update: Village Idiot notes this cool bit from the second page:

But Saddam loyalists have turned against Zarqawi, a Jordanian militant whose fighters travel to Iraq from across the Arab world to blow themselves up in a bid to spark sectarian civil war.

"Zarqawi is an American, Israeli and Iranian agent who is trying to keep our country unstable so that the Sunnis will keep facing occupation," said a Baathist insurgent leader who would give his name only as Abu Abdullah.

You got us! Indeed, he is a Mossad/CIA agent!

The funny thing is, though, is that they're quite right about the net effect of Zarqawi's continuing butchery. It's only the terrorism that's keeping us there at all. Were there no (or low levels) of terrorism, we'd be out in a month.

This has always been the bizarre thing about the "insurgency."

Well, one of the two bizarre things about the insurgency. The other is that, oddly enough, we're protecting the Sunni population by being there. Because if this terrorism kept up with us not playing Daddy With The Big Pants in the country, the Kurds and Shi'as would just massacre and ethnically cleanse the Sunnis.



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posted by Ace at 01:42 PM

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