Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Fallujah, or Rubik's cube

Bill of In Iraq Journal has posted an interview with an Iraqi policeman in Fallujah. It tells a story of shifting alliances: Fallujans and insurgents; Iraqi police and army; tribes and insurgents; insugents and al-Queda; everyone and the Americans. A tentative 'moving in the right direction' could be pronounced, but you wouldn't want to stake your life on it (as the Fallujans have to do).

A sample

INDC: So why are local Fallujans fighting other Fallujans?

Mohammed: "Because the al Qaeda organization came to this city and controlled it so hard by killing. And some people here actually like killing and they liked Saddam Hussein as well, and I think the al Qaeda organization and Saddam Hussein are the same face."

INDC: What do you mean by "the same face," because Saddam was secular, he was not religious and al Qaeda is ...

Mohammed: "Because the language they use is killing. And the same people who used to be with Saddam, now they participate with the insurgency."


Mohammed: "Actually now the mujahadeen and the al Qaeda organizations are fighting each other. Hopefully that will ease things on the police and the Americans."

INDC: What about the tribes? Where are they in all of this?

Mohammed: "Only in Ramadi the tribes are fighting the insurgents. Here in Fallujah some actually support the insurgents because they are scared."

A day earlier, an American soldier told me that the tribes has just, within the past week, declared themselves neutral, intending to let the insurgents fight each other, the Iraqi Army, the police and the Americans. Previously they had been passively or actively working with insurgents or playing both sides of the fence.

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