Now, the tribal leaders are rallying to the government and asserting themselves against al-Qa’eda. ~William Shawcross
The first part of this statement is, of course, completely untrue, as is quite a lot of Mr. Shawcross’ flimsy rah-rah article. The “Awakening” in Anbar has no loyalty to the Maliki regime or an Iraq ruled by Shi’ites, and it is not rallying to either one. This group, or rather the tribes that make up this group are rallying, if you like, against being assassinated and blown up by the “Islamic State of Iraq” types. Once they have taken care of these people, they will in all likelihood turn their attention to destroying the government to which they have supposedly rallied. I know that The Spectator has to run pro-war articles because its owner requires it, but couldn’t they be the least bit interesting and accurate while they’re at it?
Update: For good measure, Shawcross manages to invoke both the Partition and Vietnam withdrawals to try to intimidate people into supporting the war. (He was an early one to start talking up the genocide in Cambodia as a way to bludgeon war opponents.) This is also the same Shawcross who wrote last May that “we are winning” in an article describing the training work being done in Basra–the same Basra mission that he so thoroughly criticises and ridicules in this article.