October 27, 2005

GOOD NEWS FROM IRAQ:

This left Abu Theeb, a man who has devoted himself and his resources to fighting the Americans, in a curious position. His battle on polling day would be to secure a safe and smooth voting for his people – in a referendum organised by the enemy. In doing so he would be going up against the al-Qaida forces, and risking a split in the insurgency in Iraq.

I spent five days with Abu Theeb and his people last week, and I witnessed a very curious thing: a bunch of mujahideens talking politics and urging restraint. “Politics for us is like filthy dead meat,” Abu Theeb told me. “We are not allowed to eat it, but if you are passing through the desert and your life depends on it, God says it’s OK.” This is a profound shift in thinking for these insurgents, a shift that might just change the way things develop in Iraq.

And in The Guardian, no less. Read the whole thing, which underscores the point made in the StrategyPage excerpt below: Attacking Iraqis has been deadly for Al Qaeda. Read this, too.