So one resident of Haifa Street, in the heart of Baghdad's badlands, reacted to the new plan to secure the Iraqi capital with the help of thousands of additional American troops.You can't make this stuff up - no wait, I can't make this stuff up, Taheri obviously can. And what has been the cause of all the violence in Iraq? If you said years of a cruel Baathist tyranny you would be wrong. Ditto for a 1400 year battle between the Shi'a and the Sunni. It's because the Iraqis were afraid the US would cut and run.
"Maybe the Americans aren't running away after all," said the resident, a Sunni Arab, over the phone moments after President Bush unveiled his new plan. "The message seems to be that the United States will remain committed as long as Bush is in the White House."
Some 70 percent of Baghdad's violence is concentrated in five neighborhoods, where both Shiites and Sunnis have been the targets of rival death squads for months. Other Baghdadis say the population of those areas will greet the American troops with sweets and flowers.
The fear that the United States, bedeviled by internecine feuds, might cut and run has been at the root of the violence since Iraq's liberation in 2003.Of course Taheri doesn't site any real sources, he can't because he made it all up.
Jihadists have fought not because they hope to win on the battlefield, but to strengthen the antiwar lobbies in the United States and Britain. Some in the new political elite have become fence sitters because they regard the United States as a fickle power that could suddenly change course. Others have created or expanded militias, in case the United States abandons Iraq before it can defend itself against internal foes and predatory neighbors.
Now over at the Washington Post Joshua Partlow and Robin Wright do name their sources and they paint a very different picture.
Bush's Shift in Strategy Gets Dubious Reception On Streets of Baghdad
BAGHDAD, Jan. 11 -- From the men drinking lemon tea in cafes to the politicians fighting to strengthen their fledgling government, Baghdad residents greeted President Bush's announcement of a shift in Iraq strategy with a skepticism born of nearly four years of war.
To many, the crux of Iraq's intractable problem is whether the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki -- installed as Shiite Muslims were emerging from oppression under Saddam Hussein to become the country's ruling majority -- can rise above deep sectarian rivalry and protect Iraqi neighborhoods equitably, even in the face of catastrophic insurgent attacks by Sunni Arabs.