Thursday, April 26, 2007

Iraqi "Neighborhood Watch"

I'm not taking much time to write today, but I wanted to share this post from JD Johannes, writing from the Al Anbar province in Iraq, at Outside The Wire. He's got some encouraging local developments for those Americans who fear/believe we've already lost the war in Iraq. To the contrary, judging from the evidence in Al Anbar (one of the major insurgent strongholds of the last few years), Johannes says that it may be we've already won--but just don't realize it. The tribes and local Sheikhs have "flipped," and this place that used to be a haven for insurgent forces has become a home to neighborhood watches and volunteer check points--all working against the insurgency. Have a look.

Update: General Petraeus, the man now in charge of our forces in Iraq, spoke with Congress Wednesday (closed door, because of classified information) about how the surge is going thus far, and later gave a public briefing, minus the classified, closed-door stuff. He seems to share Johannes' encouragement about Al Anbar and what a difference the allegiance of the local sheikhs and tribesmen is making in the fight against Al Qaeda. He also spoke frankly of the challenges both the Coalition and the Iraqis are facing, and where he sees signs of progress. The Mudville Gazette has excerpts from the public briefing as well as the Democratic and Republican assessments of what they learned from the General. It's really interesting how two groups of people can hear the same words and draw vastly different conclusions. Fortunately, thanks to our friend the Internet, you can read the excerpts for yourself and draw your own.

Hat tip: Instapundit for the Mudville Gazette link.