Friday, Mar. 19, 2010

June 2007
Shifting Alliances

"The government's aim is to disarm and demobilize the militias in Iraq. And we have enough militias in Iraq that we are struggling now to solve the problem. Why are we creating new ones?"

Iraqi political adviser Sadiq al-Rikabi on Washington's new plan in the fight against al Qaeda to arm and enlist the help of some of the same Sunni Arab groups that used to attack U.S. forces

The month begins with a troubling statistic from the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior: the number of unidentified corpses discovered in Baghdad soared more than 70% in four weeks, from 441 bodies found in April to 726 in May. Around the same time, American commanders begin arming some of the same Sunni Arab groups in central and north-central Iraq that used to battle U.S. forces, saying alliances have shifted as the Iraqi civilian death toll mounts. "This isn't a black and white place. There are good guys and bad guys and there are groups in between," Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch tells The New York Times, in explaining the shift in enemies and allies. Still, some critics of the move voice concern that American forces are simply arming both sides of a future civil war. CNN announces on June 26th that public support for the war has reached a new low, with more than 70 percent of Americans saying they oppose the conflict. Worse still, the survey found that Republican support is beginning to waver: 38 percent of Republicans polled oppose the war.