Thursday, November 10, 2005

Life Imitates "Life of Brian" 
Dateline: RAMADI, Iraq: Al Qaeda in Iraq, the terrorist group headed by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, has broken with local Sunni insurgent groups in central Iraq, in some cases resulting in gun battles on the street.

Of course, in Ramadi, we just called that "sundays."

On Sunday, fighting between insurgent groups started at a central intersection in war-torn Ramadi -- the capital of the Sunni heartland province of Anbar. As many as two dozen men fired automatic weapons and blasted away with shoulder-mounted rockets as Al Qaeda in Iraq ambushed members of three local groups.

Eyewitnesses and Sunni insurgents said it was a fight between groups that would have been considered allies three months ago. One Al Qaeda in Iraq fighter was killed, and an unknown number on each side were injured.

I'm getting a woodie. This is just too precious!!!

The groups have fallen into disputes about money and tactics, including over whether to participate in Iraq's political system. Residents say they think the strong support that Al Qaeda in Iraq has had in the heart of Anbar province is starting to fracture. The group is dominated by non-Iraqis.

Yeah! And they won't let us in their stupid treehouse, and they won't show us their secret handshake, and they always pick us last for kickball!

It's hard to gauge the impact of a split among insurgent groups on the U.S. war effort. But a split in Ramadi could blunt the influence of Al Qaeda in Iraq, as the city in the so-called Sunni Triangle generally is seen as the heart of the group's power in the country. The group has taken credit for many of the country's more vicious terrorist attacks.

Heh. What have I been saying?

I think Ramadi will be the insurgency's last stand. But Ramadi is getting increasingly isolated. The enemy can no longer laterally reinforce securely from Fallujah, and points north and west are getting the squeeze. When Ramadi is isolated from support from Hadithah, and Qaim (Khan al Baghdadi was never a huge problem, unless we made it one by shutting down a profitable line of shops there in fall of 2003 that catered to American convoys and really gunned the engines of that little economy for a while.), then we will go after Ramadi in a Fallujah kind of way.

That town has been asking for a massive cordon and search of division size for some time.

Sooner or later, they're going to get it.

And unlike the Muj in Fallujah, they won't have a Mosul they can move to en masse.

It'll be do or die time for them.

Splash, out


Lets hope the IO, Intel and Operator bubbas figure out this is an opportunity to exploit a seem.
Folks have been saying all along that the insurgency was going to lead to a civil war in Iraq. Who knew that it would end up being an intra-squad scrimmage?
the final straw was about money. He said businesses and even some government offices around Ramadi had been paying local insurgents protection money, as much as $70,000 a month. Al Qaeda in Iraq demanded the money.

It always comes down to money. Assassinating sheiks who don't toe the AQ line, killing police doing their job, that's all probably forgivible. Acing out the local's revenue stream? dem's fighting words. Just sit back and enjoy the fireworks. Random thought: I'm kind of surprised at the reaction of the Jordanians to Zarqawi's "widening the war". Beginning to wonder if he didn't really step into with that one. Time will tell...
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