The "civil war" that is not in Iraq
There is much more.
"In fact, there is a civil war in progress in Iraq, one comparable in important respects to other civil wars that have occurred in postcolonial states with weak institutions. Those cases suggest that the Bush administration's political objective in Iraq--creating a stable, peaceful, somewhat democratic regime that can survive the departure of U.S. troops--is unrealistic." Professor James D. Fearon, writing in the March/April edition of Foreign Affairs.
There is one problem with Professor Fearon's thesis--the facts on the ground that I am seeing right now and that he has not seen in person or not seen recently.
A major part of Fearon's well reasoned argument is that U.S. support for the Maliki government, "encourages Sunni nationalists to turn to al Qaeda in Iraq for support against Shiite militias and the Iraqi army."
His argument is logical and would be correct if the Sunnis of Anbar cooperated with his argument--but they are not cooperating with the good professor's thesis. In fact, they are doing just the opposite. The Sunnis of Anbar are now siding with the coalition and fighting Al Qaeda.
A month ago in this post I wrote about how the Anbar Awakening was moving downstream along the west bank of the Euphrates.
In Khalidiyah, the SAA had taken control of security for their own villages under the supervision of the Habbaniyah police and under the watchful eye of the Marines.
The awakening started in Ramadi and has now spread to Hit, Haditha and points west to the West bank of the Euphrates just north of Fallujah and then to the south near Amariyah/Ferris.
The tribes along the west bank are all tied into each other and some of the sub-tribes who have not joined the awakening are finding themselves in armed intra-tribal conflict.
The awakening has now spontaneously leapt the Euphrates and taken hold in an unlikely area--al Kharmah.
What many have missed is how this has effected not only al Qaeda's position in Anbar, but as importantly it has wiped out their rat lines to Syria. This is why its men in Syria are directing the jihadi volunteers to Lebanon and Jordan for attacks on those regimes. The NY Times and others have tried to convey the impression that these people are not needed in Iraq, but that is not what the enemy web sites are saying. They are already complaining about the shortage of "martyrdom" volunteers for operations in Iraq.