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Iraqi Residents Stand Up to al-Qaeda

Yet more good news from Iraq. It appears the pressure to "get results or get out" exerted here at home against the Bush administration is trickling down to the streets of Iraq :

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.

It's about time the residents starting pushing back.


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Comments (11)

cirby:

"get results or get out"

Republicans: "Get results."

Democrats: "Get out."

It's nice to see that even the dimmer of the Democrats are starting to notice that the surge (something that they resisted strongly) is working... and it's not surprising that some of the less-moral ones are trying to take credit for something that they proclaimed to the world was a really bad idea.


What's working is the Democrats pressuring the White House for results.

That's why this is finally happening now, when it should have been happening years ago. These are Iraqi citizens - it has nothing to do with the surge - these people now know that the US days in Iraq are numbered (thanks again, Democrats) and NOW they are stepping up to the plate EXACTLY AS WE'VE BEEN SAYING - that they wouldn't stand up until we threatened them with getting out...

but the whiny Republicans just haven't had the balls to take this step, so Pelosi and Reid let the Iraqis know that -- it's time -- now is the time.

Who's John Galt?:

What's working is the Democrats pressuring the White House for results.

Was that the pressure Reid exerted in his irresponsible declaration that the war is lost?

- it has nothing to do with the surge -

WTF? Do you think this happens in a vacuum? You're a caricature, Lee. This whole 'Wizbang Blue' is a joke designed to allow you free reign to look like an idiot. It's working.

"WTF? Do you think this happens in a vacuum? "

No, I think this happens when you let the Iraqi people know that our patience has worn thin, and you make serious noises about pulling out the troops.

They see the writing on the wall *now that our days in Iraq are limited* - and now they know they'd better start solving these problems, instead of letting the US spend billions and spend our soldiers lives doing it for them, they're doing something about it themselves.

And the fact that it took Democrats to take control of Congress and make this change is just eating you up... Look at the ad hominem stuttering you're doing over this -- obviously you're upset that it was all so easy.... once the right people were put in office.

Lee Ward:

"First of all how does that work when all we hear from your type is the Iraqis and terrorists/insurgents/criminals don't listen to what goes on the media and D.C.?"

The election in November made it clear that changes were taking place. The showdown over Iraq funding made it clear that changes are taking place.

yes, the Iraqis don't five a damn about what Jon Stewart or Rosie O'Donnell says, but they take notice when President Bush is against the ropes and having to claw for money to keep the Iraqi neighborhoods defended -- so they pick up brooms and rocks and start defending themselves. It's about F***ing time.

"Remember Lee, you've read it, heard it and probably said and written it yourself, saying the "war is lost," (one of so many other examples) has ZERO effect on the ground in Iraq."

I don't think I've ever said it, but I believe it.

Saying the war is lost is irrelevant if we make no sign of pulling out our troops. Some Senator says the war is lost - as an Iraqi do I care? Not if Bush is promising to send more troops at the same time.

Now -- make noises that the war is lost (or a losing cause) AND make noises about pulling out the troops, and we see Iraqi citizens in the streets with broomsticks whacking the terrorists.

THAT's what's happening now. The Iraqi citizens see us getting ready to pull out, and they realize that its time for them to do something...

EXACTLY as the Democrats as predicted.

and look at who in America is claiming this isn't good news! Look at the who in America will now complain when good news is trumpeted, and will instead want to minimize this monumental development.

"No, I think this happens when you let the Iraqi people know that our patience has worn thin, and you make serious noises about pulling out the troops."

So Lee, are you in favor of the surge or for pulling out the troops?

A) Surge

B) Pullout

Pick one.

ke_future:

lee, i don't think anybody (other than AQI) is claiming this is bad news. every conservative blog that i have read has said this is a good thing. the difference is what people see as the cause of this behavior.

personally, as someone who has been following the news out of Iraq since day one, i think that this is just a natural result of 1) the ongoing efforts of the US forces to show average Iraqi's that America is there to help and 2) the Iraqi's getting fed up with AQI killing Iraqi's.

Is the surge a contributing factor? absolutley. by increasing our presence in Iraq in this way we are showing them that we are serious.

is the talk of forcing a pullout a contributing factor? maybe. tho i not for the reasons you give. i think that bush's absolute rejection of an artificial timetable for withdrawl is also showing Iraq's how serious we are about succeeding. and given that Iraqis have been voicing ever increasing frustration with AQI and other such groups, since *before* the Dems started calling for a pullout, i don't think that said talk was much of a contributing factor.

are Iraqi's concerned that the US will leave if they don't step up? I hope so. should we pressure the Iraqi government to take steps to improve? absolutely. should we just leave and let the Iraqi's deal with this on their own? No way.

Hugh - I'd let the surge run till September and see where things are then. If there is not a huge improvement by then it's time for plan B, and that includes winding down our presence.

Ke_: "Is the surge a contributing factor? absolutley. by increasing our presence in Iraq in this way we are showing them that we are serious."

Now that I'e stopped laughing I have to ask you -- are you serious? You are seriously stating that prior to now the Iraqi citizens didn't think we were serious, but seeing "the surge" they now believe we are?

All of these years, and all of the deaths, and they just thought we weren't serious?

If that's what you've been reading in the rightie blogs you have to excuse me when I say it's a pathetic spin. Good grief...

"are Iraqi's concerned that the US will leave if they don't step up? I hope so. should we pressure the Iraqi government to take steps to improve? absolutely. should we just leave and let the Iraqi's deal with this on their own? No way."

We're in agreement there, and notice that -- we aren't leaving, and the results are improving. That didn't happen until the threat of leaving became real.

"Hugh - I'd let the surge run till September and see where things are then. If there is not a huge improvement by then it's time for plan B, and that includes winding down our presence."

Lee,
If I were AQ (or Iran,or its proxies) and I knew your timeline then why wouldn't I just lay low until,say, November?
And, if I were AQ (or enemy proxies), once I saw evidence of the troop withdrawal, why wouldn't I exploit that situation?
Why should I give them a timeline? How does that serve our interest or the interests of the Iraqi's presently being murdered by terrorists?

"If I were AQ (or Iran,or its proxies) and I knew your timeline then why wouldn't I just lay low until,say, November?"

You think they wouldn't do that now after General Patreus announced that he would re-evaluate and report in September? I would assume that progress will be measured something along the lines of...

"we've made significant progress in training and elevating the local security forces while at the same time effectively handicapping the insurgents' ability to procure bomb-making materials"

and not...

"Gee, the insurgents have gone into hiding, I guess we can go home now."

Your suggestion that the terrorists can trick us into thinking we've made progress so that we leave prematurely is not realistic. I think a more realistic scenario is they step up efforts and inflict more causualties to try to convince us to leave even sooner, and isn't that part of what we're seeing -- an increase on their part, and the expectation that was articulated by Bush a few weeks ago is that our casualties will increase in August.

(That tells me we're will start leaving in September, but don't tell the enemy, Hugh -- it's a secret.)

"Why should I give them a timeline? How does that serve our interest or the interests of the Iraqi's presently being murdered by terrorists?"

We give the Iraqi people a realistic timeline, one we know that can live with if they get off their asses and get busy, and we stick to it -- its the only way Iraqis will stand up and take responsibility for their own defense -- as we see from this report -- they will stand up once they believe we're headed out the door soon.

"Your suggestion that the terrorists can trick us into thinking we've made progress so that we leave prematurely is not realistic."

I am making no such assertion Lee, but you're making lots of assumptions...."(That tells me we're will start leaving in September, but don't tell the enemy, Hugh -- it's a secret.)"

My position is this: Continue the surge, exploit that strategy until it works and give no timelines. That Patreus will report to Congress in September does not mean that that is a pullout date or the start of one.


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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