Sunday, July 13, 2008

The al-Ameriki Tribe

So I'm reading the comments at Gateway Pundit and I come across a commenter who says I should do a bit of research on the al-Ameriki tribe. Interesting. So I did a search. And what did I come up with? A wiky entry to start. It is short. So here it is:

The Al-Ameriki tribe is a name (properly, a nickname) given by native Iraqis to United States soldiers and other American personnel occupying Iraq.
That is a start. Perhaps we can find out more.

The wiki suggests this Phil Carter article in Slate. It was written in Nov. of 2007 when things were still looking grim in Iraq. The situation was improving but there was no certainty that a corner had been turned. So lets have a look.
Political reconciliation efforts have produced qualified successes in Anbar, Baghdad, and Diyala. Our security work complemented these political deals by rewarding the sheiks who worked with us, inducing many to stop actively or passively supporting the insurgency. These deals represent the increasing pragmatism of Sunni leaders who realize that the Shiite state is a fait accompli, and they must therefore do what they can to reconcile with each other and with the Americans (who they call the "al-Ameriki tribe") in order to survive.
We have tribal status in Iraq. Interesting.

Michael Yon has more from July of 2007.
The big news on the streets today is that the people of Baqubah are generally ecstatic, although many hold in reserve a serious concern that we will abandon them again. For many Iraqis, we have morphed from being invaders to occupiers to members of a tribe. I call it the “al Ameriki tribe,” or “tribe America.”

I’ve seen this kind of progression in Mosul, out in Anbar and other places, and when I ask our military leaders if they have sensed any shift, many have said, yes, they too sense that Iraqis view us differently. In the context of sectarian and tribal strife, we are the tribe that people can—more or less and with giant caveats—rely on.

Most Iraqis I talk with acknowledge that if it was ever about the oil, it’s not now. Not mostly anyway. It clearly would have been cheaper just to buy the oil or invade somewhere easier that has more. Similarly, most Iraqis seem now to realize that we really don’t want to stay here, and that many of us can’t wait to get back home. They realize that we are not resolved to stay, but are impatient to drive down to Kuwait and sail away. And when they consider the Americans who actually deal with Iraqis every day, the Iraqis can no longer deny that we really do want them to succeed. But we want them to succeed without us. We want to see their streets are clean and safe, their grass is green, and their birds are singing. We want to see that on television. Not in person. We don’t want to be here. We tell them that every day. It finally has settled in that we are telling the truth.

Now that all those realizations and more have settled in, the dynamics here are changing in palpable ways.
There is more in his report about how the "insurgency" essentially defeated itself. Insurgencies typically spout high ideals while recruiting criminals. They have to. Criminals are used to evading the government. The question always is: can the criminals be disciplined? Will they follow orders? Will the criminals who have advanced in the organization give good orders? Will they follow the plan? Or will they revert to criminal depredations with the increased power that being part of a shadow government gives them?

In the Iraq insurgency the criminals got the upper hand. It has been their downfall.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In a related vein, I always found the anti-victory activists claim that pro-invasion people thought the Iraqis would do what we wanted out of fear or gratitude rather bizarre. I expected the Iraqis to cooperate because it would be good for the Iraqis, as apparently the Iraqis have finally realized. It's of a piece of my New Model Empire theory.