Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Al-Qaeda In Iraq: Turning On Itself

The Left in America continues to say that the Surge is not working, and it is a failure. We hear it from the halls of Congress almost daily, and as the days go by the Left in Congress is doing its best to end this war. Today the Times of London paints a new picture for the Left. It is one that shows another stage of success for the Surge in Iraq:

(Hat-Tip: Hugh Hewitt and John Hinderacker @ PowerLine)

Fed up with being part of a group that cuts off a person’s face with piano wire to teach others a lesson, dozens of low-level members of al-Qaeda in Iraq are daring to become informants for the US military in a hostile Baghdad neighbourhood.

The ground-breaking move in Doura is part of a wider trend that has started in other al-Qaeda hotspots across the country and in which Sunni insurgent groups and tribal sheikhs have stood together with the coalition against the extremist movement.

“They are turning. We are talking to people who we believe have worked for al-Qaeda in Iraq and want to reconcile and have peace,” said Colonel Ricky Gibbs, commander of the 4th Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, which oversees the area.

The sewage-filled streets of Doura, a Sunni Arab enclave in south Baghdad, provide an ugly setting for what US commanders say is al-Qaeda’s last stronghold in the city. The secretive group, however, appears to be losing its grip as a “surge” of US troops in the neighbourhood – part of the latest effort by President Bush to end the chaos in Iraq – has resulted in scores of fighters being killed, captured or forced to flee.

“Al-Qaeda’s days are numbered and right now he is scrambling,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Stephen Michael, who commands a battalion of 700 troops in Doura.

A key factor is that local people and members of al-Qaeda itself have become sickened by the violence and are starting to rebel, Lieutenant-Colonel Michael said. “The people have got to deny them sanctuary and that is exactly what is happening.”

Al-Qaeda informants comprise largely members of the Doura network who found themselves either working with the group after the US-led invasion in March 2003, or signed up to earn extra cash because there were no other jobs going. Disgusted at the attacks and intimidation techniques used on friends, neighbours and even relatives, they are now increasingly looking for a way out, US officers say.

“It is only after al-Qaeda has become truly barbaric and done things like, to teach lessons to people, cut their face off with piano wire in front of their family and then murdered everybody except one child who told the tale afterwards . . . that people realise how much of a mess they are in,” Lieutenant James Danly, 31, who works on military intelligence in Doura, said.

No one is saying that ll of al-Qaeda is turning on itself, but the fighters they recruited from Iraq, and the foreign fighters they pulled in from other areas around the region are certainly not happy with the barbarism they see from their masters. They are not enjoying the tactics being used, especially against the civilian populace. Moreover, as the US officials have stated, many of them are simply sick of fighting. With the influx of US troops to Iraq, they see al-Qaeda's goals of driving the coalition away as an impossible task.

Read the transcript of the interview Hugh Hewitt conducted with General David Petreus and see what he details about the success of the surge in Iraq. While he is not ready to break out the champagne just yet, he does state clearly that there are serious signs of success in the war-torn nation. He also notes that each night US special operations teams are targeting al-Qaeda hideouts, and taking them down. Whereas before we played the game like our hands were tied, the corner has been turned, and the terrorists and insurgents in Iraq know that we are playing for keeps.



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