looks like the US military has concluded al qaeda is now the biggest threat in iraq (a self fulfilling prophecy?), evidenced by the fact that the army is ARMING SUNNIS IN IRAQ TO HELP FIGHT AL QAEDA. the craziest parts of this are that the hugely expensive police force the US has set up in iraq is almost completely shiite, and that the sunnis were once Qaeda allies. um, recipe for disaster?
maybe, maybe not.
one of the creepiest things about the iraq debacle was how quickly iraqi public opinion went from loving america to reviling us. things changed eerily fast. there are many historical examples of how quickly liberators become occupiers, and public opinion can change fast over here in the west. but in the middle east these days, it seems outrage runs high, and memory is short.
despite their having been allies in the past, there probably is much anger against al qaeda among sunnies for al qaeda's undiscerning tactics, which, along with americans, have ended up killing so many iraqis. and so the arming-sunnis-tactic could work. but tomorrow, americans could accidentally shoot a bunch of civilians, mistaking them for armed militants, and the sunnis will forget about the enmity towards qaeda, join forces with them, and attack the US occupiers with their own american guns.
the combination of short fuses and short memory is obviously incredibly dangerous. it's a big part of the problem with the islamic world today. and maybe it's just what happens when your region is in such a massive mess, and has been for so many, many years. you're angry, but it's hard to remember why.