Bruce McQuain from QandO joined us for our discussion with Michael Yon live from Hit, Iraq. Hit is in Anbar province and we spent a lot of time covering the success in Anbar and the so-called “awakening”. Michael talked at length about the importance and benefits of working with tribal leaders. He mentioned “a very excellent article in Newsweek” on the subject, here it is.
Gathering the Tribes
U.S. field commanders are finally beginning to tap the traditional networks that helped Saddam to stay in power.
Michael told us,
“They’ve (tribal leaders) completely turned against Al Qaeda. They are simply not safe here in Anbar anymore.”
He also said that The Awakening was for the US military, a change of strategy that is paying dividends,
“The Awakening is also an awakening for us…We should engage the tribal leaders. There is true benefit to be reaching out to the sheiks and other spheres of influence.”
The bottom line from Michael,
“A new day is dawning and it looks like a real chance for some kind of success here in Iraq and I can tell you my spirits are substantially lifted just over the period of the last couple of months…I see 2007 is going to be a serious year for progress.”
Of course, he also warned that we need patience, time and good decision making to succeeded. I doubt we get any of the three from Washington.
Michael has been very negative on Iraq at times, including this grim assessment in January, so it was very encouraging to hear his report.
Michael is a truly independent citizen journalist and he needs our support to stay in Iraq and continue his great work.
Michael Yon on The Awakening, live from Hit, Iraq
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