Here is an 11/14 Instapundit report from Michael Yon, who is in Iraq. The post begins with a quotation: "THE WAR IS OVER AND WE WON." Yon goes to to say: "There's nothing going on. I'm with the 10th Mountain Division, and about half of the guys I'm with haven't fired their weapons on this tour and they've been here eight months. And the place we're at, South Baghdad, used to be one of the worst places in Iraq. And now there's nothing going on. ... I've been asking Iraqis, 'do you think the violence will kick up again,' but even the Iraqi journalists are sounding optimistic now and they're usually dour."
Elsewhere, there was a string of bombings in Baghdad yesterday, but the fact remains that Americans, myself very much included, are eager to declare the war over. But I still have a fundamental, non-answered--and worse, non-asked!--question about what it is we stand to win in Iraq--and, by extension, in Afghanistan. Do we get an ally in arms and spirit--a la post-WWII Denmark? Or just another OPEC state, riven by Islamic sectarian rivalries, hostile to Western-style liberties (press, religion, etc.), a boycotter of Israel, a supporter of jihadist groups such as Hezbollah (which Iraq expressed support for in Hezbollah's 2006 war with Israel), a friend to Iran?
Also yesterday, I came across a report (sent in by Jeffrey Imm) about a Sunni Iraqi reaction to the outrageous murders in Mosul this week of two US soldiers by an Iraqi soldier. The men killed were Spc. Corey Shea, 21, and Sgt. Jose Regalado, 23. Here's the AP report of the incident:
An Iraqi soldier Wednesday sprayed automatic weapons fire at U.S. soldiers at an Iraqi military base in Mosul, killing two and wounding six before he died in a hail of bullets, an American general said. ...
Maj. Gen. Mark Hertling, commander of U.S. forces in northern Iraq, told The Associated Press the "premeditated" attack occurred in a courtyard as the soldiers waited for their two lieutenants to finish a meeting with an Iraqi army company commander.
Hertling, who said he had spoken with some of the wounded troops, disputed Iraqi accounts that the shooting followed a heated argument between the Iraqi soldier and the Americans.
Hertling said the attacker strolled into the courtyard carrying a Kalashnikov rifle and a drum of ammunition, walked to a corner, turned and opened fire.
"One shot was aimed and the rest was literally a spray," he said. "There was no argument, no spitting, no slapping, none of that occurred."
The six wounded American soldiers were expected to recover, Hertling said.
He said senior Iraqi army and police commanders in Mosul, 225 miles northwest of Baghdad, had expressed regret over the shooting and promised a joint investigation.
There was another notable reaction to the murders, one that came from an anti-US, anti-Iraqi-government, anti-SOFA Sunni group, the Association of the Muslim Scholars in Iraq. Here is the UPI story about the AMSI's reaction that Jeffrey sent me:
MOSUL, Iraq, Nov. 13 (UPI) -- The influential Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq praised the actions of an Iraqi soldier who turned his weapon on American soldiers, killing at least two.
An Iraqi soldier on patrol with U.S. forces in the northern province of Ninawa opened fire on his American counterparts Wednesday following an altercation in Mosul. U.S. troops returned fire, killing the Iraqi.
The Sunni AMSI issued a statement on its Web site Thursday praising the "heroic" deed by the Iraqi soldier, which the group identified as Barzan Muhammad Abdullah.
AMSI said the American soldiers had violated the personal privacy of an Iraqi girl in public, prompting Abdullah to fire all of his ammunition at the U.S. troops.
Shariah, or Islamic law, places restrictions on the degree to which males and females may interact in public. The U.S. military has exercised caution when approaching women, leaving searches and other activity largely to female soldiers.
Is this merely the jihadist reaction of an outmoded fringe, a freak event whose tragic implications are limited to the murdered and wounded soldiers and their families? Or is this a trend to be concerned about? As the AP noted,"it was the second such shooting in Mosul in a year, raising questions about the professionalism and preparedness of Iraqi security forces and their relations with their American partners."
Professionalism and preparedness!? That's what these murders raised questions about? Not loyalty or trustworthiness?
At their wesbite today, the jihadists of AMSI wrote:
The Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq (AMSI) called on employees of all state Guard to follow the example of heroic soldier (Barzan Mohammad Abdullah al Hadidi), who declined to humiliation and took revenge for his dignity. ...
In a statement AMSI clarified that this operation occurred in the city of Mosul clearly shows that the goodness is still in this nation (ummah). The government forces have some noble people who refuse humiliation, shame and retaliate for pride and dignity..
This reminds of the minds of the heroic action performed by the soldier (Kaisar) in the same city and the soldier (Omar al-Jabbouri) in the city of Fallujah, which was truly a lighthouse for those who want to find the right path....
AMSI prayed Allah Almighty to accept this heroic action and record it with the Martyrs...blah blah.
Polls in Iraq have indicated an alarmingly widespread receptivity to such beliefs. I refer back to a BBC poll revealing that a whopping 42 percent of Iraqis in March 2008 believed it was acceptable to attack US troops. This makes these murders of US troops, along with this recent, brazenly public reaction of the Sunni Muslim group, all the more troubling-- something not to ignore, as press and US accounts have done so far, but to analyze very carefully and very openly as the US considers its future relationship with the Iraq--which, after all, according to its US-faciliated constitution, is a *sharia-supreme state.
*Article 2, Section 1st, a: No law can be passed that contradicts the undisputed rules of Islam.