The Islamic Army is one of Iraq’s best known resistance groups, made up largely of former members of Saddam Hussein’s army and security forces. In a turnaround that heartened proponents of the US troop surge, it has lately been firing its weapons at Al-Qaeda in Iraq instead of American soldiers. The US military has been discreetly putting out feelers to the Islamic Army in the hope of winning it over permanently.Taken in concert with reports that other Sunni insurgent groups, including the 1920 Revolution Brigade, that have turned opportunist US ally for now are carving out lucrative protection rackets in their territories, extorting money from everyone who wants to do business there, and it's clear that the Anbar Awakening is anything but the happy pony that the Right wants everyone to buy.
Shaun Mullen writes:
Perhaps Shammari’s interview with a major Western newspaper was designed to clarify the Sunni position so the US wouldn’t exploit the anti-AQI strategy by remaining in Iraq longer. Surely that’s how the Bush Administration is planning to use the anti-AQI gains, so if Shammari has any political savvy he’d know that he has to either agree to a longer US presence (now “welcomed” by anti-AQI Sunnis) or he must make it absolutely clear that recent alliances with the US against AQI were purely tactical and short-lived. Like Sadr, Maliki, Petraeus and Bush, Shammari is seeking some clarity on the various politico-military fronts in Iraq. His interview, at the very least, suggests we take a skeptical look at all the happy talk floating around this coming September. The Sunni insurgents have proven for four years how powerfully destructive they are; we’d be well-advised to consider their long-term goals when assessing our own.Indeed. Especially since the US military has been given these once-and-future-insurgents training and money to but more guns. The truth is that, in their eagerness to acclaim anything at all as "surge success" the panto kiddies on the Right haven't yet figured out that the next panto call is always "look behind you!" They're the only ones who haven't figured it out.