Patterico's Pontifications

1/10/2007

Understanding the Insurgency

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:55 am

Bill Ardolino has a fascinating interview with a civil servant in Fallujah. It is one of the best pieces about Iraq I have read in some time.

Read it all.

UPDATE: Here’s a teaser to get you to read it. The interviewee says we are financing the insurgency. Read the interview to see how.

6 Responses to “Understanding the Insurgency”

  1. wasn’t the american revolution basically an insurgency too?

    start with a local populace somewhere. now, add an occupying foreign power that sets up roadblocks, does armed home invasions and (rarely) rapes young girls and murders them and their families. is it realistic or not to consider that members of this populace will occasionally try to blow up occupiers with ied’s/snipe at them with rifles? does this constitute a moral failure on the insurgents’ parts, or is it just human nature?

    assistant devil's advocate (206c6d)

  2. wasn’t the american revolution basically an insurgency too?

    Umm… the American Revolution was an attempt to establish freedom for the colonies and autonomy from an increasingly tyrannical state. This insurgency is being done to destabilize Iraq so that it can’t be a strong ME democracy. I don’t recall hearing about Americans laying IED’s for civis during the revolution, but I could be wrong. Great comparison, though.

    start with a local populace somewhere. now, add an occupying foreign power that sets up roadblocks, does armed home invasions and (rarely) rapes young girls and murders them and their families. is it realistic or not to consider that members of this populace will occasionally try to blow up occupiers with ied’s/snipe at them with rifles? does this constitute a moral failure on the insurgents’ parts, or is it just human nature?

    What a reassuring picture you paint for yourself. I couldn’t help but notice, though, that you completely neglected the fact that the overwhelming majority of the insurgency consists of foreign fighters, Baathists who are now out of power thanks to us, and AQ. These are not ordinary Iraqi’s fed up with the American occupation, although they certainly are fed up with it, but they’re not the ones blowing up innocent Iraqi’s by the dozens and hundreds, and soldiers by the twos and threes.

    thelinyguy (e32b76)

  3. I love how people give the insurgents a pass at the evil things they do…. because its expected of them.

    G (722480)

  4. I hope David Petraeus can be an American “Eliot Ness” in Iraq.

    ADA,

    While there were insurgency aspects to the American Revolution, Americans did not target civilians. So if it is human nature to harm innocents, apparently it’s not American human nature.

    In any event, I don’t agree that it’s human nature to harm innocents. I think most people feel protective toward the innocent and the weak. Sociopaths and bullies might prefer to hurt people than to help them, but fortunately most people aren’t bullies or sociopaths. Even this interviewee indicates that many Iraqis are yielding to the insurgents to survive rather than by choice.

    DRJ (51a774)

  5. Actually the American patriots did some harm to civilians who were British loyalists during the Americal Revolution. Not that I hold it against them or think that it is in any way analagous to Iraq. However, I don’t think that any loyalists, or their families, were blown apart or beheaded, like you know who does in you know where. The patriots were such softies.

    Gary (d3da05)

  6. quote from the interview, emphasis mine.

    Yusef: “It’s going to depend on an upcoming meeting [with] tribal leaders. This is key, I believe, to use it to get into their mentality and convince them to be on our side. [They need to be told] about Marines leaving, Iraqi Army leaving, if the sons of Fallujah will provide security and work with the police.”

    “If their answer is yes, start sending tribe members to join the police service and the Iraqi Army in Fallujah. If you want the Marines and the (predominantly Shia) Iraqi Army to stay in the city, that’s your choice, but you need to be responsible for it. Let’s not waste our time standing here and talking. Either yes, the sons of Fallujah will take over, or if the answer is no, end this meeting.”

    INDC: What if they say ‘no?’

    Yusef: “[There will be] one option: [government forces] from Baghdad. And they’re not [like local forces], it’s really kind of [special forces] from Baghdad. But the local Sunni hate them (as they are predominantly Shia), and the members of that team will treat Fallujans terribly.”

    INDC: Why did you decide to [work to quell the insurgency]?

    Yusef: “Because I found that this is going to be the best solution to serve my city and my country.”

    He then said that he’d like to tell me two things, but warned me that one may anger Americans, and he hoped they didn’t get upset.

    Yusef: “Through my [experience as an enemy], the way I look at Americans, I look at them and feel like they are occupiers, occupying my country when the invasion happened. But when other parties showed up – especially the radicals and the Iranian militias, both who are not Iraqis – now I prefer the Americans. I’ve met [various Americans working for Fallujah]. It is my feeling that [they are] working hard, and (before I knew) you (Americans) I had a different image. Now that I know the Americans, I have a different impression. Now I deal honestly with them and feel they are really working for the benefit of my side.”

    “I think the Americans are more for Iraq than the Iraqis themselves.”

    He then moved on to his second point.

    Yusef: “I want to ask you for something: a one month vacation in the United States to get away from all of this. And if they give me refugee status, I’m marrying an American woman and not coming back.”

    He laughed.

    larry (336e87)


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