An independent movie-maker, reporter, and blogger, embedded with the marines in Anbar, objects to US Senator Harry Reid's statement of surrender last week. Here are his words:
The Sheiks, the arbiters of power in Anbar for centuries, are loath to give up their power to a professional police force based on merit, a police force beholden to civil law instead of tribal patronage.Source
But the Sheiks are also tired of the capriciousness of the Jihadists and of appearing powerless before their tactics of terror. While many of the Sheiks doubtlessly supported elements of the insurgency, they saw their power would be cut off by the Sharia courts.
For people used to being courted for their political sway, the approach of the jihadists was dead end. The Americans, even the units doing Hammer and Anvil, were a better alternative.
....Are the militias rag tag looking? Yes. Are they professionally operated? No. Do they conform to Western standards? No. Are they effective against the jihadists? Yes.
So effective that the Marines who actually work the patrol bases and combat outposts say everything is really boring and their main job is as QRF for the neighborhood watch.
As for my time in Husabayh Jawal and Khalidiyah, it was really boring, but boring is good. ....
The coalition action in Iraq will probably not have the ending that anyone would have predicted, or even preferred. But if the people of Iraq are able to resist the world wide tide of jihadism, and take concrete steps toward a representative rule of law--although not western style democracy--the state of the world will be better. Certainly if the Kurds can develop a modern Kurdistan based mostly on "rule-of-law" principles, they may demonstrate something about what muslims are capable of.
The theocratic style of government you see in Iran, and the quasi-theocracy of Saudi Arabia, may be justifiably thrown on the dustbin of history, if the people of Iraq can find it in themselves to rise above their medieval traditions, customs, and religion.