October 13, 2004


BAGHDAD, Oct. 12 -- Local insurgents in the city of Fallujah are turning against the foreign fighters who have been their allies in the rebellion that has held the U.S. military at bay in parts of Iraq's Sunni Muslim heartland, according to Fallujah residents, insurgent leaders and Iraqi and U.S. officials. . . .

"If the Arabs will not leave willingly, we will make them leave by force," said Jamal Adnan, a taxi driver who left his house in Fallujah's Shurta neighborhood a month ago after the house next door was bombed by U.S. aircraft targeting foreign insurgents. . . . Several local leaders of the insurgency say they, too, want to expel the foreigners, whom they scorn as terrorists. They heap particular contempt on Abu Musab Zarqawi, the Jordanian whose Monotheism and Jihad group has asserted responsibility for many of the deadliest attacks across Iraq, including videotaped beheadings.

Perhaps we can look forward to not merely a military victory, but an ideological one as well.

UPDATE: I guess these guys must be some of those "chickenhawks" I've been hearing about!

ANOTHER UPDATE: StrategyPage reports:

Although the details are secret, American and Iraqi troops are on the offensive against Sunni Arab and terrorist gangs. Over a year of effort in building up an intelligence network among the population has paid off. Even in the Sunni Arab areas, many people are fed up with the lawlessness and violence created where the gangs operate. So information comes in about who is who and is doing what. This provides more, and higher quality, targets for raids. The ground units usually surround houses or compounds at night and arrest people, and seize weapons, bomb making equipment and documents, without a shot being fired. Some 30 areas have been identified as occupied and influenced by various gangs. The process of clearing out these areas has apparently been underway for two weeks. Not a lot of publicity for this effort, as keeping the opposition guessing is a powerful weapon.

And scroll down for more interesting stuff.

MORE: Reader and frequent Insta-critic Jonathan Miller accuses me of painting a sunny picture of Iraq. [Well, it is sunny there! It's in the desert! -- Ed. "That was a metaphor, wasn't it? Don't you know what a metaphor is?"] He says I don't link a lot of stories involving bad news. True enough -- I figure since that stuff is plastered all over the TV networks and newspaper front pages at the least provocation, I don't add a lot of value by repeating it. The good news, and stuff that bears on the strategic background, on the other hand, somehow seems to get a lot less attention. When bad news matters and is undercovered -- which sometimes happens, if it requires actual understanding to appreciate -- I do try to mention it, as with the CERP program, discussed here and here, among many other posts, or with regard to Zeyad's war crimes reports -- go here for a roundup and follow the links for earlier posts.

But, as I've said before, InstaPundit isn't a news service. I'm not sure any blog is, with the possible exception of The Command Post. And even there, I think they see their mission as supplementary to the larger media world, and don't regard themselves as a free-standing source of information. My sense regarding Iraq is that things are -- despite the problems endlessly documented in the Big Media -- moving along, and that it's no more a hopeless quagmire than Afghanistan has turned out to be. I could be wrong, of course -- I often am, about all sorts of things -- but I think that anyone who wants to assess what's going on in Iraq needs to do more than just "look at what's on television," as John Kerry suggests. I try to help provide a fuller picture than the TV folks, whose chief goal, it sometimes seems, is to help Kerry get elected.

ANOTHER UPDATE: MSgt. John Michael emails from Iraq:

No, it's no Garden spot, but given that many of us are risking our lives for this bit of sand I think we've got a vested interest in making sure the truth is put forth in as bold terms as possible.

So given the number of returned troops, and especially the number who've left Active Duty and aren't bound by any possible legal issues, why aren't there a lot more ex-GI's acting out in a fashion reminiscent of John Kerry '71?

I know there is a handful among the hundreds of thousands, but lets face facts, the folks who were here aren't sharing that MSM view of Iraq, nor are those here now. I think that preponderance should carry some weight.