The U.S. troops that remain in Iraq after last summer’s withdrawal face some new challenges from within Iraqi factions, as some previously American-allied members of the Awakening Councils are apparently joining the ranks ... (continued)
The Awakening movement isn’t very happy these days. The U.S. has been paying Sunni militants to turn their guns from American soldiers to al-Qaida foreign fighters, a program that has been celebrated for reducing violence in Iraq and is now falling apart. In the words of one Sunni leader who spoke to NPR, “The Americans completely abandoned us.”
Because it worked out so well the last time, the U.S. plans to arm Afghan militias in an effort to police the country. The Pentagon is presenting this plan—and the media are reporting it—as a spinoff of a successful strategy in Iraq, not a revival of the secret war that gave rise to Osama bin Laden and the Taliban.
There’s an ugly secret behind the “success” of the surge: The United States is paying off Iraqi militants with weapons and cash. It’s a recipe for disaster, one that reminds Chris Hedges of “Yugoslavia before the storm.”
Speaking to conservative journalists, the president said he sees a “third awakening” of religiosity in America that has coincided with the so-called war on terror—which he depicted as “a confrontation between good and evil.” (h/t: Huff Po) It must be comforting to see the entire world in black and white. It obviates the need for, you know, thinking.