Intrepid reporter on the scene in Iraq, Michael Yon, reports:
In talking with the soft-spoken Abu Ali, his manner is similar to that of experienced American combat leaders. He is direct and clear in his speech (through an interpreter), and his intelligence is evident. An intelligent enemy who knows the dangers—who is not part of an insane death-cult promising 72 virgins and eternity with God to martyrs—and yet stands his ground against Americans over a long period, must possess great courage and annealed strength. Even among enemies, those qualities command grudging respect. I told one man in the back of the Stryker that after standing his ground with the Americans and surviving this long, al Qaeda was hopeless when Abu Ali and the 1920s shifted their martial attentions.Source
While we were driving in the belly of the Stryker into Buhriz, I asked Abu Ali, “What did you do to al Qaeda?”
Abu Ali said that on 1 April 2007, he and his people attacked al Qaeda in Buhriz for their crimes against Islam. He also said something that many Muslims have said to me: al Qaeda are not Muslims. (Both Sunni and Shia have said nearly the exact same words, at times on video.) Abu Ali said they fought hard against al Qaeda, and on 10 April, they asked the Americans to join the attack. It worked.
....I asked Abu Ali why he and the 1920s turned against al Qaeda in Buhriz. Speaking through LT David Wallach, a native Arabic speaker, Abu Ali said that “al Qaeda is an abomination of Islam: cutting off heads, stealing people’s money, kidnapping . . . every type of torture they have done.”
The recent stories of baked children came to mind. I asked if Abu Ali had heard about children being baked. Ali said no, he had not heard such a story, but he would not be surprised if it were true because al Qaeda had done so many crimes, such as cutting off a man’s head, putting it up on a stick and parading it around town.
Ali said people had been afraid in their own homes because of al Qaeda.
....I asked Abu Ali if there was something he would like to say to Americans. The markets that had been closed under al Qaeda were bustling around us.
Ali thought for a moment as some local people tried to interrupt him with greetings, and he said, “I ask one thing,” and now I paraphrase Ali’s words: “After the Iraqi Army and Police take hold and the security forces are ready, we want a schedule for the leaving of the American forces.”
“I will tell the Americans this,” I said. Ali seemed satisfied as he went off with another American unit.
Ali wants what most Iraqis want--a peaceful Iraq fully under the control of Iraqis. That is also what Michael Yon wants, what I want, and what most people who persist in supporting the US led coalition in Iraq want.
That is not what the "anti-war" people want, however. What they want is US troops out of Iraq even if a hundred times more Iraqis will die as a result, and the entire country of Iraq become a battleground between Sunni, Shia, and all other interested muslims and regional nations.
What these mind-children fail to consider is that under any leadership at all--Democratic or Republican--the US would have no alternative but to involve itself in the inevitable region-wide conflagration that would result from a rapid US exit. In other words--THE TROOPS WOULD HAVE TO GO BACK UNDER FAR WORSE CIRCUMSTANCES!