There is some relatively good news coming out of Iraq at the moment. It's not earth-shattering, but it's interesting. A couple of weeks ago the news started carrying stories about how people in the tribal areas were getting sick of Al-Qaida's excesses and violence. I know that there is the myth that the mainstream medial absolutely NEVER prints anything positive, but that's a load of crap. At any rate, this story is one that I have been following for a couple of weeks.
This reaction was predicted a couple of years ago by experts in the reason who pointed out that Iraqis regarded the foreign fighters as much of invaders as they regarded us. However, under the rationale that the enemy of my enemy is my friend, they went along with them hoping they could drive us out. When that didn't work things started to chage. We can definitely thank Al-Qaida for the beginning of their own demise in Iraq. Their bloody excesses and the indiscriminate torture and murder of not only men, but of women and children finally wore out their welcome with the tribal leaders, who began contacting the U.S. with information.
We started arming them and gathering intelligence. In addition to the violence, what drove the nail into Al-Qaida's coffin with many of the tribal leaders was their insistence that they were going to establish a strict Islamic state. You would think that these people would understand where Islam fits into a tribal mindset, but apparently they were city boys and did not.
The unfortunate thing is that while this is excellent news and certainly a bright point in my week, Al-Qaida and foreign fighters represent only a small percentage of the current violence in Iraq. The biggest source of the war in Iraq right now is the civil war between the various factions and even within the factions. It's a power struggle, and were every foreign fighter in Iraq to vanish tomorrow it wouldn't affect the level of violence more than just peripherally.
Still, we have to start somewhere, so here's your dose of good news out of Iraq for the week from the people who never actually cover the good news.