Of course, it is no surprise that Shi’ites and Kurds would be unhappy about this, just as Sunnis were unhappy when the Administration thought the Shi’ites were eager Jeffersonians. But it is also probably true that U.S. officials in Iraq are “trusting terrorists,” since they have never demonstrated any awareness of the reality of the jihad ideology. “U.S. Strategy on Sunnis Questioned: Loyalties at Issue in New Partnerships Against Al-Qaeda in Iraq,” by Joshua Partlow for the Washington Post :
BAGHDAD, July 17 — Shiite and Kurdish officials expressed deep reservations on Sunday about the new U.S. military strategy of partnering with Sunni Arab groups to help defeat the militant organization al-Qaeda in Iraq.
“They are trusting terrorists,” said Ali al-Adeeb, a prominent Shiite lawmaker who was among many to question the loyalty of the Sunni groups. “They are trusting people who have previously attacked American forces and innocent people. They are trusting people who are loyal to the regime of Saddam Hussein.”
Throughout Iraq, a growing number of Sunni groups profess to have turned against al-Qaeda in Iraq because of its indiscriminate killing and repressive version of Islam. In some areas, these groups have provided information to Americans about al-Qaeda in Iraq members or deadly explosives used to target soldiers.
The collaboration has progressed furthest in the western province of Anbar, where U.S. military commanders enlisted the help of Sunni tribal leaders to funnel their kinsmen into the police force by the thousands. In other areas, Sunnis have not been fully incorporated into the security services and exist for the time being as local militias.
Some of these groups, believed to be affiliated with such organizations as the Islamic Army or the 1920 Revolution Brigades, have received weapons and ammunition, usually through the Iraqi military, as well as transportation, food, handcuffs and direct assistance from U.S. soldiers. In Baghdad’s Amiriyah neighborhood, a local group of Sunnis who call themselves the Baghdad Patriots were driven around earlier this month in American and Iraqi vehicles and given approval by U.S. forces to arrest suspected al-Qaeda in Iraq members.