How al Qaeda alienated Ramadi
LA Times/Houston Chronicle:
They closed down Hissam Hamed's Internet cafe, told history professor Abid Mohammed how to pray and killed 16-year-old Ammar Alwani because he scoffed at their religious edicts.Well, they have beaten the Democrats. They are ready to surrender to the a new Taliban. Their desperation for defeat by these thugs is sickening, but the people of Ramadi have lived it first hand and want to reject it and need our help and the Democrats just want to quit and run away. People like Jack Murtha and Nancy Pelosi are just disgusting cowards. Anyone who reads this story and still supports Democrats just does not have a heart or a head, and if they allow these thugs to win, there will be more people without heads.
Everyone you talk to in Ramadi has a story about how life under the insurgents calling themselves al-Qaida in Iraq progressively worsened over the three years they were in control here, finally pushing the residents of this Sunni Triangle city into the unlikely arms of the U.S. military.
When they arrived in the summer of 2003, the Islamic extremists found Ramadi fertile ground for recruits to fight the U.S. Marines and soldiers who had occupied the city after overthrowing Saddam Hussein. Al-Qaida in Iraq even declared an Islamic State of Iraq, with Ramadi its provisional capital.
But over time, the extremists overplayed their hand by imposing strict religious doctrine, hijacking the city government and enforcing a brutal murder and intimidation campaign to keep the locals in line, residents said.
"They killed people right in front of our eyes," said Sameh Khalif, an apparel merchant on Market Street, referring to insurgents from foreign countries, including Syria, Algeria and Morocco, who flocked to Ramadi.
U.S. Army Lt. Col. Mike Silverman, who commands a unit in charge of northwest Ramadi, permits himself the hope that a corner has been turned here in Al Anbar province, thanks in large part to al-Qaida in Iraq's missteps.
"They nearly achieved it, turning Al Anbar into the new Afghanistan," Silverman said. "But they shot themselves in the foot. Their violent tactics just discredited them further and further."