Effects of the Surge

Reader CoRev sends me this e-mail..

From the Captains Quarters: Chuck Schumer a democratic leader made this statement:

And let me be clear, the violence in Anbar has gone down despite the surge, not because of the surge. The inability of American soldiers to protect these tribes from al Qaeda said to these tribes we have to fight al Qaeda ourselves. It wasn’t that the surge brought peace here. It was that the warlords took peace here, created a temporary peace here. And that is because there was no one else there protecting.

If this is your belief, then there is no hope. Your party will lose the next election with these beliefs.


I’m not exactly a partisan Democrat. As I’ve stated many times, I consider the Dems to be less obnoxious than the Reps on the economy. It does seem to me they’re a heck of a lot less obnoxious, though, when it comes to the war.

But for grins, I went to google to see about what CoRev wrote. And in 5 seconds, I found an article in the Christian Science Monitor entitled “Sunni Tribes Turn Against Jihadis”:

He’s also turned away from supporting Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi and other foreign fighters in Iraq. “We realized that these foreign terrorists were hiding behind the veil of the noble Iraqi resistance,” says Mr. Jadaan. “They claim to be striking at the US occupation, but the reality is they are killing innocent Iraqis in the markets, in mosques, in churches, and in our schools.”

In Anbar Province, an insurgent hotbed that borders Syria, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia, US and Iraqi officials say they have a new ally against the Al Qaeda-inspired terrorists: local tribal leaders like Jadaan and home-grown Iraqi insurgents.

“The local insurgents have become part of the solution and not part of the problem,” US Army Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch told reporters at a press conference last week.

Until recently, many of the Sunni Arab tribes in Anbar and local insurgent leaders collaborated with Islamic extremist groups whose funding and manpower is thought to come largely from abroad. They had a common goal: drive out the Americans.

But Mr. Zarqawi’s indiscriminate killing of innocent Iraqis has alienated many of his erstwhile Iraqi allies. His shadowy militant group, known as Al Qaeda in Iraq, is believed to have assassinated four prominent Anbar sheikhs. And in January when hundreds of Anbar men turned up at an Iraqi Army recruiting depot in Ramadi, the provincial capital, a suicide bomber killed 70 would-be soldiers.

Zarqawi’s brutal methods have stirred controversy beyond Iraq, as well. When he declared an “all out war” on Shiites last September, his former mentor, Abu Mohammed al-Maqdisi, publicly rebuked him and Al Qaeda’s No. 2, Ayman al-Zawahiri, warned him against alienating the Muslim masses.

But Zarqawi appears to have done just that. Last month, a poll of 1,150 Iraqis throughout the country, conducted by the Program on International Policy Attitudes, the website World Public Opinion, and the Center for International and Security Studies at the University of Maryland, revealed that just 7 percent of Iraqis approve of attacks on Iraqi government security forces.The same poll, which over sampled Sunni Arabs, found that only 1 percent of Iraqis support attacks on Iraqi civilians.

We are caught in the middle between the terrorists coming to destroy us with their suicide belts, their TNT, and their car bombs, and the American Army that destroys our homes, takes our weapons, and doesn’t allow us to defend ourselves against the terrorists,” says Jadaan.

It was that frustration that first pushed Anbar’s elders to take a stand against outside terror groups, which set up camp there and turned Anbar’s highways into rat lines for foreign fighters coming in from Syria, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia.

US and Iraqi forces launched a series of offensives throughout the province last year. Caught in the crossfire, Anbar’s residents began looking for a way out.

“A sheikh from the Samarra tribe, which had suffered a lot from the military operations, came to see the minister of defense, and he said, ‘Give me two weeks to get rid of the foreigners from our city,’ ” recalls Mohammed al-Askaree, an adviser to Iraq’s Sunni Arab Defense Minister Saadoun Dulaymi. “The minister said, ‘Take a month. If you get rid of the foreigners and the terrorists your city will avoid further problems.’ “

Other tribal sheikhs followed suit. About three months ago, Mr. Dulaymi, intent on exploiting the rift between the tribes and the foreign insurgents, convened a series of meetings with Anbar’s tribal sheikhs, religious leaders, and local elders. The US ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, attended some of the meetings.

The provincial leaders made a number of demands in return for their cooperation, Mr. Askaree says. They asked for weapons to fight the terrorists with, but the minister refused. Instead the minister agreed to step up recruitment of Anbar residents to the Iraqi security forces.

“If you want to participate in attacking the terrorists, you have no choice but to send your sons to volunteer for the Army and give the Army information on the terrorists,” Askaree says the minister of defense told the gathered Anbar notables.

So what Schumer said about the involvement of the US… seems to be correct. Oh, and this article backs up one other thing Schumer said… about the timing, and how this is not related to the surge. See, the article is dated February 06, 2006.