Iraqis Stand Up to al Qaeda

Check out this terrific story about an Iraqi sheikh who helped U.S. forces expel al Qaeda from Anbar province. Apparently he is now providing the U.S. with information about Afghan tribes, presumably including those along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

This courageous sheikh, Ahmad al-Rishawi, says of President Bush, “He is a brave man. He is a wise man. He is taking care of the country’s future, the United States’ future. He is also taking care of the Iraqi people, the ordinary people in Iraq. He wants to accomplish success in Iraq.”

Sheikh al-Rishawi says he would like U.S. troops to remain temporarily in his country for the sake of fortifying the Iraqi army and establishing security. “We also have to make a friendship treaty based on mutual respect between the two parties, and then the United States will be able to withdraw from Iraq … and we will succeed in Iraq the same way America succeeded in Japan and Germany.” He also says, “We fully trust the Americans. We know the United States never in its history occupied a country.”

These sensible and courageous words come from a man whose brother was murdered by terrorist “insurgents” in Iraq.

Why is it that Americans get so little of this type of reporting? Who gets the lion’s share of coverage in our media–the terrorist “insurgents,” no doubt doing the bidding of America’s enemies–or people like this brave man? While the terrorists grab headlines, my sources in Iraq tell me that those Iraqis who are quietly working to build a civil society, and who are grateful to the U.S. for our continued (if temporary) presence to help insure security in their country, are the silent majority. Kudos to The New York Sun’s Eli Lake for his great reporting here.

According to the story, this sheikh, Ahmad al-Rishawi, recently prepared a 47-page report for the American embassy in Kabul on the tribes of Afghanistan.

It seems the Bush administration is biding its time with regard to capturing bin Laden, perhaps due to concerns that doing so could prompt a wave of terrorism from al Qaeda sleeper cells. But with al Qaeda on the run, I wouldn’t discount the possibility that the administration could deliver up bin Laden before January.

This entry was written by and posted on June 10, 2008 at 1:42 am and filed under Blog.