Via Steve Clemons, guest-blogging for Andrew Sullivan, comes the jaw-droppingly honest and thought-provoking blog of Alex Horton, a 22 year old soldier from Frisco, Texas who has been deployed to Diyala Province as part of the Surge. Give it a read.
But I want to flag up one particular passage from a post that is particularly scathing about the Surge and its supposed success.
Working with 1920s – A Sunni insurgent group we’ve been battling for months, responsible for the death of my friend and numerous attacks, agreed to fight Al Qaeda alongside us. Since then, they’ve grown into a much more organized, lethal force. They use this organization to steal cars and intimidate and torture the local population, or anyone they accuse of being linked to Al Qaeda. The Gestapo of the 21st century, sanctioned by the United States Army.The 1920 Revolution Brigade are being touted by the military and by pro-occupation pundits as the latest success of the "Anbar Awakening" which, they say, is a ground-up democracy-building movement. The military has stopped calling them "terrorists" or even "insurgents", preferring to spin them as "concerned local nationals" and "patriots who have come forward and have joined the security process". I'm guessing Alex Horton disagrees strongly with the spin and his description of their activities certainly doesn't read like they are contributing to the security of ordinary Iraqis.