Are we Turning a Corner?

Very quietly things appear to have been changing in al Anbar province in Iraq. I've been reading for quite a while that the Iraqi Sunnis are slowly growing weary and turning against the terrorists. This information is finally starting to come out in main stream media sources. Here, check out this news article. Here's a quote:

U.S. troops battled al-Qaida in west Baghdad on Thursday after Sunni Arab
residents challenged the militants and called for American help to end furious
gunfire that kept students from final exams and forced people in the
neighborhood to huddle indoors.

The fight reflects a trend that U.S. and Iraqi officials have been trumpeting recently to the west in Anbar province, once considered the heartland of the Sunni insurgency. Many Sunni tribes in the province have banded together to fight al-Qaida, claiming the terrorist group is more dangerous than American forces.

The article goes further to say that US forces are now engaging in diplomatic overtures to Sunni groups that formerly were engaged in terrorist acts directed against the elected government of Iraq and the multinational forces. The libs have been shrieking for diplomacy, well diplomacy can only be planted in a fertile field. The time is now right, the other side has seen that pursuing a diplomatic solution may be in their best interests. So now is the time to give it a go.

In yet another article, Lt. General Ordierno (second in command of US forces in Iraq) is quoted as saying:

...efforts to engage tribal leaders in Anbar — who have been turning against al-Qaida there — have helped cut violence and draw people to serve in the Iraqi security forces in record numbers. Attacks in Anbar totaled 811 in May 2006, but this month are a bit more than 400. In Ramadi there were 254 attacks in May 2006, compared with 30 this month...

So, it appears that progress is indeed being made. The general did sound some cautionary notes though:

...Complicating matters, he said, is that the enemy knows about the September
deadline and is likely to increase the violence during the next few months in an
effort to push the U.S. out.

"They understand that if things aren't going well, a recommendation might be made to reduce our force presence here in Iraq," said Odierno. "So in my mind, of course they're going to try to do that."

Noting that May has been a particularly deadly month for U.S. troops — at least 122 have been killed — Odierno said the recent surge in violence may be part of that effort...

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