A Trend In Iraq?

Annie

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http://www.blackfive.net/main/2007/01/does_anyone_els.html

Lots of links:

Does Anyone Else Detect a Trend?
Posted By Subsunk

Read through the last couple or three weeks of posts at B5 and Mudville, and one might get the impression that something good is afoot. Without sounding too optimistic, I'm sure there must be a reason for the progress we are seeing in Iraq, and (except for the loss of the Blackhawk with so many senior personnel and the Little Birds protecting the diplomatic convoy) for the small victories we are seeing in the news.

Smarter minds here at B5 and elsewhere have commented intelligently on how long the counterinsurgency and nation building would take. If it weren't for all the noise surrounding how George W Bush's war is a failure, we might actually be getting some basic intelligence on how the war is actually going from the US and European press. But, alas, we aren't.

So what should we make of these stories?

Turnaround in Baghdad

BY NIBRAS KAZIMI
January 25, 2007 URL: http://www.nysun.com/article/47363

There has been a flurry of press reports recently about insurgents battling American and Iraqi security forces on Haifa Street in Baghdad, and around the rural town of Buhruz in Diyala Province. These same insurgents also claimed to have shot down a Black Hawk helicopter near Buhruz. At the same time, the Americans and Iraqis are declaring a major victory as evidenced by the increased number of dead or captured militants, and the uncovering of massive weapons caches. So, what is going on?


What needs to be understood is the central role that Al Qaeda — or more accurately its successor organization, a group called the Islamic State of Iraq — is playing on these fronts and the diminishing role of all the other insurgent groups.

The wider Sunni insurgency — the groups beyond Al Qaeda — is being slowly, and surely, defeated. The average insurgent today feels demoralized, disillusioned, and hunted. Those who have not been captured yet are opting for a quieter life outside of Iraq. Al Qaeda continues to grow for the time being as it cannibalizes the other insurgent groups and absorbs their most radical and hardcore fringes into its fold. The Baathists, who had been critical in spurring the initial insurgency, are becoming less and less relevant, and are drifting without a clear purpose following the hanging of their idol, Saddam Hussein. Rounding out this changing landscape is that Al Qaeda itself is getting a serious beating as the Americans improve in intelligence gathering and partner with more reliable Iraqi forces.
In other words, battling the insurgency now essentially means battling Al Qaeda. This is a major accomplishment....
 

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