15 May 2007

The Iraq Chirac

Now I'm a law-and-order kind of person, and I've been more than disgusted at times with our over-restrictive ROE, but part of me can't help believing it's this type of thinking that has gotten Iraq - and the entire region - into the mess they're in today.

One the other hand, things are going well in Anbar, and he is our ally.

As the old saying goes, "yeah he's an SOB, but he's our SOB."

American forces too soft on terrorists, says Iraqi sheikh

The key to saving Iraq from the scourge of Al-Qaeda is to subject captured fighters to the swift and deadly rule of tribal justice, according to ... Sheikh Hamid al-Hais [who] leads the Anbar Salvation Council...

The Salvation Council is part of a movement called the Anbar Awakening run by Sheikh Abdulsattar Abu Risha, whose alliance of tribal leaders united against the threat posed to Anbar province by Al-Qaeda's militants.

"I always tell the Americans 'Why detain the enemy? Leave him to me, don't detain him,'" he chuckled during an interview with AFP in a Baghdad hotel.

Anbar's mainly Sunni population once largely supported attacks on US forces and Iraq's Shiite-led government.

Many, however, have become sickened by Al-Qaeda's attacks on civilians and tribal leaders and are angered by the insurgents' interference in the region's traditional ways of life. (...)

Since October, sheikhs have funnelled thousands of tribal fighters into the police and "emergency response units", which now fight alongside US and government forces while retaining their loyalty to their sheikhs. (...)

After four years of fierce fighting but little political progress in Anbar, US commanders welcomed the rise of the Council with enthusiasm.

No counter-insurgency campaign can ever be successful without winning over the bulk of the local community. (...)

"The Americans don't know the terrorists like we do. A very dangerous terrorist was freed by the Americans and our police captured him," he said.

"We asked him during the investigation, 'Why did the Americans release you, you are very dangerous?' He said, 'I told them just two lies and they believed me and they set me free'," Hais recounted.

"We knew him very well, and he couldn't deny it. We told him 'You killed this person and that person'. Yes, he had to die. It's outside the law, but it's the only remedy for them," he added, with satisfaction.

"There's no way to cure them, they have to be killed."

Not only that, he's also the new Chirac:

"We'll make Ramadi the Dubai of Iraq," he said, a twinkle in his eye. "I believe in development. I am very liberal, extremely liberal.

"I wanted to forbid the girls from wearing headscarves in Anbar University. They told me I'm the new Chirac," he said, in a nod to the outgoing French president whose government banned Islamic dress from public schools.

h/t FReeper Forums

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