May 03, 2007

Just How Educated Are Our Reporters?

Read this, and you'll be asking that question as well.

It isn't rocket science.

al Qaeda in Iraq is the lead element in a coalition of Sunni insurgent groups that now calls itself the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI).

al Qaeda in particular and the ISI in general are becoming increasingly unpopular even within the Sunni insurgency because of al Qaeda's tactic of using foreign suicide bombers to indiscriminately target Iraqi civilians, Sunni and Shia, and their vastly different goals:

...the insistence that homegrown insurgent groups bow down to the Islamic State was insulting to the Iraqi fighters defending their homeland. The fact that the Islamic State's end goal -- the establishment of an Islamic caliphate in Iraq -- was not the end goal for Iraqi insurgent groups, despite their rhetoric in support of an Islamic state, was another obvious source of contention.

The Islamic State's insistence that Iraqi groups subordinate themselves to its hierarchy and vision only increased after November, leading to a number of documented clashes between the Islamic State and homegrown insurgent groups. When the Islamic State began targeting Iraqi insurgent leaders with attacks and assassinations, the Iraqi groups responded with vigor.

There are essentially two conflicts going on in Iraq.

One is the sectarian "civil war" we've heard so much about in the press, which is largely occurring along Sunni and Shia sectarian lines. Sunni and Shia death squads target the opposite sect. This is going to take a long time to quell, and will take primarily a political/social/cultural solution.

The other is a fight between government and coalition forces and an increasing number of Sunni tribes against a dwindling number of Islamist terrorists, primarily al Qaeda and it's remaining supporters. The solution to this particular problem is decidedly far more military in nature, and if recent trends continue, the solution may be coming sooner rather than later.

You would hope that someone as smart as Dana Milbank could figure this out, and perhaps it is still not too late.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at May 3, 2007 02:50 PM

Geeez CY,

All you had to say was that it was Dana Milbank and I would've known it was uneducated opinion being published in the form of news.

Posted by: Specter at May 3, 2007 04:35 PM

Obviously Millbank rode the short bus.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at May 3, 2007 07:49 PM

Milbank isn't dumb, he just thinks we are.

Posted by: mindnumbrobot at May 4, 2007 11:59 AM