People Power Vs Al-Qaeda

People power — the rising of ordinary people of a nation or region in force against oppression — has toppled more than one dictator in the last generation, or even in the last few years. The phenomenon started with Filipinos forcing an end to the Marcos regime two decades ago, and continued with Poles, Czechs, Georgians, the Lebanese, and others. The people of Palermo even rose up against almost a millenia of terror and crippled the Mafia.
Now it looks like the Sunnis in Iraq may have had enough of terror, too (via Power Line):

A battle raged in west Baghdad on Thursday after residents rose up against al-Qaida and called for U.S. military help to end random gunfire that forced people to huddle indoors and threats that kept students from final exams, a member of the district council said. …
U.S. forces backed by helicopter gunships clashed with suspected al- Qaida gunmen in western Baghdad’s primarily Sunni Muslim Amariyah neighborhood in an engagement that lasted several hours, said the district councilman, who would not allow use of his name for fear of al-Qaida retribution.
Casualty figures were not immediately available and there was not immediate word from the U.S. military on the engagement.
But the councilman said the al-Qaida leader in the Amariyah district, known as Haji Hameed, was killed and 45 other fighters were detained.
Members of al-Qaida, who consider the district part of their so-called Islamic State of Iraq, were preventing students from attending final exams, shooting randomly and forcing residents to stay in their homes, the councilman said.

Of course, this is one incident in one area, and it would take a brushfire of discontent to drive AQ out of Iraq. Sometimes it only takes one spark to touch off that brushfire, though. In any case, the Sunnis of the region understand that their lives will never return to normal until the terrorists leave — and they knew who to call to get help with their impromptu battle against AQ.
Word also has come that the other, native insurgencies may have had enough:

U.S. military commanders are talking with Iraqi militants about cease-fires and other arrangements to try to stop the violence, the No. 2 American commander said Thursday.
Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno said he has authorized commanders at all levels to reach out to militants, tribes, religious leaders and others in the country that has been gripped by violence from a range of fronts including insurgents, sectarian rivals and common criminals.
“We are talking about cease-fires, and maybe signing some things that say they won’t conduct operations against the government of Iraq or against coalition forces,” Odierno told Pentagon reporters in a video conference from Baghdad.

This actually follows up on the offer made by Nouri al-Maliki a year ago, granting amnesty to former insurgents if they agree to surrender and return to normal lives. Some in the US found the amnesty provisions distasteful, but some sort of national reconciliation is necessary if the Iraqi government is to succeed in securing the streets of Baghdad, Anbar, and Diyala.
Small steps, of course, but steps in the right direction.

8 thoughts on “People Power Vs Al-Qaeda”

  1. generally if you keep killing bad guys with no let up this is what it leads to.
    our mistake, and i fell for it hook, line and sinker with no regrets, was that after 35 years of a living hell the iraqi people would put aside tribal fears and embrace a free state akin to the kurdish area of northern iraq. a major miscalculation yes, but a mistake that changes nothing except the time horizon. basically the iraqis have to the end of bush’s term. after that only “allah” knows.

  2. Just as long as they’re not Palestinian style “until we’ve had time to reload” cease-fires.

  3. Check the blog ‘ IRAQTHEMODEL’ for their take of the situation. They seem to think that it is a battle between two bad forces.

  4. It’s high time for Muslim moderates, and I use that term loosely, to come out of hiding and rise up against Islamofascism.

  5. When this Iraq invasion was announced, we dreaded the inevitable longevity of such a war. This Bush was so vain as to believe that success would result from a rush into Baghdad vs. a patient plodding village by village, town by town, establishing secure outposts and good will every step of the way. He promised shock and awe but delivered it to us Americans. Our Commander in Chief defied the advice of his military commanders and the entire history of warfare in favor of his quick fix that leaves our magnificent men and women in uniform in the mire. Napolean retreated, and as a selfish coward he forsook his military in Russia. Hitler committed suicide (unless he got away to Latin America), having left his people and the world in shambles. Bush has it easy, as he simply leaves office.
    If the USA needs a US military outpost in Iraq in order to protect the USA, then that is understandable. THAT rationale was the only reason I had to support Bush’s invasion in Iraq. But Bush has yet to espouse THAT rationale.
    Granted, the USA/allied forces have provided Iraq with the opportunity to enjoy a democracy that secures the population’s liberty with justice. We have won that victory, a most valuable entity, however transient democratic elections exist in Iraq. Our admiration supports the brave Iraqi men and women who voted in their recent elections and also the brave men who (re)train for the Iraqi police and military against the aggression of jihadists, and brave judges and politicians who are doing their best to establish a democratic rule of law and civility in Iraq.
    However, the obvious problems got swept under the rug of “just get along” when in reality, given the violent extremists on all sides, the Sunnis and Shiites will never accept differences outside of their own sect.
    Following WWI, when Iraq was first formed by the European imperialist victors (by the wisdom of Britain), the first “King” of Iraq was honest and frank in his explanation that trying to bind these factions together was futile. When eventually Suddam ruled, Iraq had become the most secular nation of the area. But in Iraq, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”. Iraq provides a prime example of the phrase, “the more things change, the more they stay the same”.
    As a sovereign nation, Iraqis ought to be able to geographically set inner boundary territories to best protect their populace. We shouldn’t have problems visualizing possible benefits of coexisting Iraqi territories since the USA is comprised of 50 states. Like it or not, Iraq IS comprised of territories that for their own sake need to cooperate in trade, human rights, etc.
    It is sink or swim. Just as Muslims in the West ought to stop their own extremists from terrorizing humanity with their fascistic jihad, Iraqis must stop their own as well as intruding extremists. That is a heavy burden that can not be shirked. Bush said, we are there at the will of the Iraqi people and Iraqi government. If indeed it is the military base that the USA truly needs in Iraq, before Bush leaves office, the US must have such a treaty that doesn’t leave us dangling in the winds of violent change. The Kurds would most probably allow us to permanently station our troops in their territory. Turkey’s beefing up their military presence on that border right now.
    As far as procuring oil goes, we have what we need. Drill off Florida and in Alaska. As far as our economic need for refineries goes, get Americans to work!
    O beautiful for heroes proved
    In liberating strife,
    Who more than self their country loved,
    And mercy more than life!
    America! America!
    May God thy gold refine,
    Till all success be nobleness,
    And every gain divine.
    O beautiful for patriot dream
    That sees beyond the years
    Thine alabaster cities gleam,
    Undimmed by human tears!
    America! America!
    God mend thine every flaw,
    Confirm thy soul in self control,
    Thy liberty in law.

  6. The impossible has happened. For almost 18 months, we’ve laughed when John Murtha told us that the Iraqi people wanted us out ASAP. Now they’re asking for air support so they can kill terrorists.
    On a local note, liberals snickered or were outraged when Michele Bachmann, my representative in the US House, used the term “Islamic State of Iraq.” This article uses it, too. Those that heckled her owe her an apology. BIGTIME!!!

  7. Just as long as they’re not Palestinian style “until we’ve had time to reload” cease-fires.
    Posted by: LarryD at May 31, 2007 2:04 PM
    **************************
    HUDNA – remember that word.
    That isn’t “palestinian” – that is Islamic Koran – “Hudna” – it is a virtue to lie for advantage over your enemy.
    That applies to treaties, court testimony, or marriage covenants, whatever.
    It is the sole purpose of Cease Fires – “HUDNA”! Lie for an opportunity to re-arm and get refreshed for the battle!
    It is a virtuous weapon for Allah!
    (Maybe that is where Karl Marx got the idea, too – from the Koran!)
    Look up the interviews with Walid Shoebat (Shoe-ee-baht), Middle Eastern former Muslim, who got a nasty shock while reading the Bible so he could show his wife what’s wrong with her Christian faith based on lies.
    I imagine that Abrahamic Covenant with God that muslims who call Abraham “Father” don’t keep came as a massive shock of monumental proportions.
    Another good source is Middle Eastern Christian, Bridgette Gabriel, who is regularly threatened with death by American Liberal university students.

  8. The impossible has happened. For almost 18 months, we’ve laughed when John Murtha told us that the Iraqi people wanted us out ASAP. Now they’re asking for air support so they can kill terrorists.
    ******
    Here is an actual quote from the guys that Ed trumpets here: “Abdul Khaliq said he hoped U.S. forces would stay out of the fight. “But if the Americans interfere, it will blow up, because they are the enemy of us both, and we will unite against them and stop fighting each other,” he said.”
    Which shows Murtha’s judgment to be correct. The only thing saving Iraq’s Al-Qaeda from destruction is indefinite US presence.

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