Thursday, February 28, 2008
you have to fight to stay in control of the situation:
The Washington Post has a great story about how some of the Sons of Iraq, for a variety of reasons, are losing patience with the U.S. military. As much as I've criticized the program, it's obviously better to have them not shooting at U.S. troops than shooting at U.S. troops. So it's disturbing to read that after a mistaken shooting of Sons of Iraq members in Diyala, a local commander saying:
Jubouri said his 800 fighters had taken huge risks to ally with the U.S. military and faced allegations that they are "agents for the Americans."

"If there is no apology, or no compensation, or failure to produce the informers before us, we will carry arms against the Americans," Jubouri said.
More importantly, skeptics of the Sons of Iraq program have -- ahem -- warned for nearly a year that there's no way gunmen in Iraq will ever give up their weapons, and that the Sunnis do not accept not being rulers of the country. As if on cue:
In Baghdad and other parts of Iraq, concern is mounting over a U.S. proposal that calls for about 20 percent of the volunteer forces to be integrated into the nation's army and police. The rest would be provided with civilian jobs and vocational training.

"The Sunnis were always the leaders of the country. Is it reasonable that they are turned into service workers and garbage collectors?" said Khalid Jiyad Abed, an Awakening leader in the city of Latifiyah and an engineer. "We had not anticipated this from the American forces. Of course we will not accept that," Abed added.
That should get people's hair on fire. Instead, we get Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno, architect of the Sons of Iraq program and future Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, saying, blithely: "Overall, you will never satisfy everybody." It's attitudes like that that lead people right into the arms of al-Qaeda.
--Spencer Ackerman