Very good news is coming out of Iraq. Not surprisingly, this hasnt caused a change of heart among the Democratic leadership. It hasn't even given them pause. One wonders if they are capable of hearing such news anymore.
The Times Online reports that Al Qaeda is facing rebellion from within its ranks. Fed up with being part of a group that cuts off a persons face with piano wire to teach others a lesson, dozens of low-level members of Al Qaeda are daring to become informants for the U.S. military in a hostile Baghdad neighborhood.
Some of these junior Al Qaeda members are said to be repulsed by the gratuitous, barbaric violence. One said, I am sick of it and I hate them, and I am done.
The good news doesn't stop here. Al Qaeda is not only facing internal dissension, but evidence is also emerging that other ethnic forces formerly friendly to Al Qaeda are changing their tune. Iraqi locals are denying Al Qaeda the sanctuary they need to operate. Lt. Col Stephen Michael, commander of a 700-troop battalion in Doura, says, Al Qaedas days are numbered, and right now he is scrambling.
This news, says the Times, comes out of Doura. But it is part of a wider trend that has started in other Al Qaeda hotspots across the country and in which Sunni insurgent groups and tribal sheikhs have stood together with the coalition against the extremist movement.
Along the same lines, The Washington Times reports that U.S. forces have brokered an agreement between Sunni and Shiite tribal leaders in Taji, Iraq, to join forces against Al Qaeda and other extremists, which represents an extension of a policy already implemented in Anbar province that has transformed the security situation there.
This isn't some flimsy handshake deal. Tribal leaders agreed to use members of more than 25 local tribes to protect the area around Taji from Sunni and Shiite extremists. It's also significant that tribal forces approached U.S. forces to initiate this agreement.
Al Qaedas inhumanity is not the only reason things are beginning to change in Iraq. The reports clearly indicate that the increased number of U.S. forces in Doura has made the locals feel it's less dangerous for them to turn toward us. These reports are direct confirmation that the surge strategy is working.
The Washington Times also reports -- surely much to the chagrin of war naysayers who have gloated that we have been greeted not as liberators but occupiers -- that U.S. soldiers walking through Sunni villages have been greeted warmly, with locals shaking the soldiers' hands and kissing their cheeks. Just a month ago, according to Sgt. Richard Fisk, every single one of these people was shooting at us.