Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Good People of Falluja

Christian Sunni Shia has posted an excerpt of an interview between an American blogger (INDC) embedded with a Marine unit and a resident of Falluja ('Yesef'). The interview reminds us that there are many good Sunni Arabs in Anbar, and they are tired of the insurgents who recruit young impressionable Iraqis to join the 'resistance' in killing people. It also highlights the importance of separating 'low level' Iraqi criminals from hardcore insurgents in Iraqi jails. Below is an excerpt of the excerpt.

Blogwatch: A Civil Servant in Fallujah

INDC: So aren't most of the tribes already on the side of law and order in al-Anbar and Fallujah particularly? It's been reported that the majority of Anbar tribes have declared war on the umbrella group of radicals in the province ...

Yusef: "That's true in al-Anbar yes, but here in Fallujah (the local tribes) are not here yet. In al-Anbar yes, I'm not sure of the number."

INDC: So the tribes in Fallujah are not on board yet.

Yusef: "we will meet with the tribes. We will meet them and we will tell them the same thing I told you, 'you know what, if you want the Americans and the IA's to leave, the citizens of Fallujah are going to have to take over the city and protect it from insurgency activities.' If they say yes were going to say we need to work together, you need to get your tribesmen to join the police . And fight side by side with us."

INDC: Who is the insurgency? Who are the people who plant bombs everyday and shoot at Americans, IA and police?

Yusef: "They have some ideology from some of the American prisons, the one in Buca and south, in those two prisons there were extremist religious insurgents. The Americans took those people and put them in the prison too and they (the radicals) worked on the other prisoners, teaching them and feeding them that ideology of fighting and to think that everyone else is a sinner and that they should be killed."

Note: I spoke to a Marine Detention Facility Officer intimately familiar with the mentioned corrections facilities, and he verified this characterization; young Iraqis on the fence are often radicalized there, initially associating with fundamentalists as a survival mechanism.

INDC: So the majority of the insurgency here is religious radicals?

Yusef: "People in Iraq fighting, they are kids. They have no knowledge, they are ignorant from both sides, about their religion and education-wise. They (the radicals) buy them with money, so why not? Some guys who work with insurgents and start killing people, when they begin and kill one, they cannot leave."

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