The surge has already failed, and has been abandoned, even by Fred Kagan, its principal architect. He still holds to the fraudulent “reduction in Shiite death squad killings,” but admits to “difficulties” with the rest of it.
But Fred and pals would have us forget the goals of the surge, forget about Baghdad and Iraq as a whole, and the region (Turkey, Palestine, Iran, Saudi Arabia) and, instead, look over there: it’s the ANBAR AWAKENING….much is being made of the Sunnis in al Anbar province fighting al Qaeda of Mesopotamia. In fact, the US is now arming Sunnis, as a reward, and purportedly to help in the struggle. Al Anbar/allying with Sunnis is now being touted as the next model/strategy. Petraeus’ September report will ignore the entire surge farce, and try to make the al Anbar model into some kind of major progress, worthy of continuing our presence in Iraq.
But al Qaeda is a relatively minor player in most of Iraq; Jeff Huber:
Al-Qaeda is a minor contributor to the violence in Iraq. Some 30 distinct groups now claim credit for attacks on U.S. and Iraqi government forces. The odds of al-Qaeda assuming “real power” in Iraq are slim to none. Steven Simon, a Middle East expert at the Council on Foreign Relations, says that the Bush administration’s warning about al-Qaeda and Iraq “serves mostly to buttress the administration’s claim that Iraq’s problems are the work of outsiders, and not the result of the administration’s mismanagement of the occupation and internal Iraqi factionalism.”
And of course, the constant referrals to al-Qaeda reinforce the subliminal implication that Saddam Hussein was connected to the 9/11 attacks.
So what will this focus on al-Qaeda in Iraq really accomplish? It might drive the Islamic group from the country, but if it does, we’ll still have the 29 something other anti-U.S., anti-Iraqi government militant groups to deal with.
The major struggle is between Sunnis and Shiites. For a year now, the Bush administration has been trying to get Sunnis to lay down their arms, and join the government. Unfortunately, it seems unlikely that the constitution is going to be amended by the Shiites and Kurds, in order to allow this to happen.
We are really just providing more arms for both sides on the civil war in Iraq. The US, regardless of the good intentions of our troops, is a negative influence in Iraq and will continue to be. We may have created a huge mess, but that doesn’t mean we can fix it. Our troops are already being betrayed and killed by member of the Iraqi army. Arming the Sunnis is eventually going to lead to more US casualties, inflicted by the weapons we provided.