Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Leiken's Golden Bridge Confirmed?
Reports of fighting between al Qaeda in Iraq and Sunni militants surfaced Tuesday, the latest hints of rising tensions between the two allied groups.
Other reports have emerged this year of tensions between Sunni fighters and the Sunni-dominated al Qaeda in Iraq, particularly from Anbar province, long a favored turf for indigenous Sunni insurgents and foreign fighters infiltrating Iraq from Syria.
The unconfirmed reports from tribal leaders to Iraqi government officials indicate that Abu Ayyub al-Masri, the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, was killed Tuesday in fighting between al Qaeda militants and Sunni tribal fighters from Abu Ghraib and Falluja.
Does this present the opportunity that Robert Leiken noted last year in National Interest online, the possibility of coming to some arrangement with the Sunni resistance? I don't know--but this may be a case for pursuing what Justine Rosenthal wrote in our pages several issues back ("Jigsaw Jihadism") about being able to split apart Al-Qaeda from regional groups "with traditional nation-state aims--even if they use Islamic rhetoric."
I need to read this piece.
Of course, this idea runs headfirst into the buzzsaw of "going on the offense" a la Rudy Guliani. I wonder who wins that public debate...