July 05, 2005

Iraqi Violence Going Three-Sided (tip to Instapundit)

Many nationalist insurgents are in open conflict with the foreign Islamists in Iraq. After assassinations of government officials and tribal leaders and women and businessowners being harassed, the tribal nationalists are attacking the Islamists. According Lt. Col. Tim Mundy in the Telegraph article, the nationalists started targeting their mortar attacks away from the US garrison and toward the Islamists, and when the rounds hit near the base they re-targeted to fire at the Islamists.

It makes sense, of course, that provincial tribal leaders would have little in common with globe-spanning Islamist radicals. The agenda of the first is older than Islam and much more local; they're concerned with their extended family's security and honor. The agenda of the latter is entirely about using violence to bring about an abstract international vision; they want to fight for their vision of social cohesion and values. A lot of times they intersect because they are all largely Muslim and largely Arab. But they have different emphases, different loyalties, different educational backgrounds and in this case, different military targets.

Let's hope that these two facets of the insurgency continue to quarrel amongst each other and ignore the coalition and the Iraqi government. This is a good sign from Iraq.


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