Thursday, September 13, 2007

Commonality of interests

Michael Yon gets ready to patrol with Alpha Company 1-12 Cav and members of the 1920 Revolution Brigades.

A few months ago we called them terrorists. Today we call them Concerned Local Nationals. When we were in a good mood, we used to call them illegal or rogue militias. Now we call them Neighborhood Watches, or in this case, “Baqubah Guardians.” It’s truly working well.

Why is it working well? Commonality of interests. That's good. It means they're pragmatic, non ideological. The Americans are not devils; they may be useful or they may be an impediment. At the moment, they are useful.

They want to kick us out of Iraq and shape their own futures with their own hands, but al Qaeda and others were stealing that chance. And so the 1920s reached out to Americans. Their end goal still includes getting us ushered out the door: something they are clear about. This means we have further common interests; we want to walk out that door just as fervently, but we don’t want to watch the house full of kids burn down behind us when we leave. Neither do they.

He visits a potato chip factory and sees why the insurgents/AQI used to have some support. As usual, the photos are great.

Also, more photos of Fallujah by Bill Ardolino.

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