No security without secure borders

The Battle for the Border IV

Bill Rogio at The Fourth Rail has a great link-rich summary of current operations along the Iraq-Syria border. Despite only getting coverage when things go bad for us, such as when Marine AAV’s get destroyed by IEDs, this is a big story.

The speculation is now over. The Coalition has officially entered Phase II of the Anbar Campaign, where U.S. forces, with Iraqi Army assistance, provide the push to eject the insurgents from the cities in Western Iraq.

I’ve often used the word “methodical” to describe our efforts in the region. Despite the lack of headlines, big things are happening along the Sryian border.

Meanwhile, Iraq’s Sunnis Register to Vote in Droves:

The surge in voter registration in the heavily Sunni west signaled the minority’s belated entry into the country’s political process. Most Sunnis stood on the sidelines of the Jan. 30 national elections that seated the transitional government, which was charged with drafting the constitution. As a result, Sunnis were left with diminished political leverage in negotiations over the document.

This time, “we registered to defeat the constitution,” said Khalid Jubouri, a guard at a government ministry in Fallujah, a city in the volatile western province of Anbar. “This is considered fighting by word and thought. We are optimistic about the battle, and we will win it eventually.”

If the proposed constitution is voted down, of course, it’s going to be trumpeted as a major blow against us and further proof that the nation simply can’t become a funtioning democracy. But it’s the method of the fight that shows things are on the right track.

“Fighting by word and thought”, Khalid Jubouri said.

And critics claim Iraqis aren’t capable of creating in a democratic society.


  1. I’d be curious to see the results of a scientific poll instead of the sample of one quote provided by the WP as to the real motivations of the Sunni that are registering. It’s easy to claim that they are overwhelmingly registering to vote to defeat the constitution, but the experience from the January elections is that Sunni candidates didn’t fare too well from Sunni voters. That trend may change as you have Sunni leaders who were involved with the insurgency in some shape or form who are stepping forward to try and lead the Sunni, but it does raise the question on how accurate this report is on the motivations of those registering.

  2. Shek: I was making that exact point last night in discussion. I’m sure that at least SOME are registering just to oppose the constitution, but what about all the Sunnis who’ve said they were going to vote next time all along? I’ve got to think a good part of the registration rush is simply an attempt to be part of the system. A lot of Sunnis, I gather, didn’t vote because they were threatened with violence if they did so. To some extent, at least, that threat has been lessened. I didn’t have time to dig for links from earlier in the year about all the Sunnis who were vowing to vote next time, which is why I didn’t mention it in the post. Just like voters in America, voters in Iraq will vote for the reasons that are important to them personally. Which is how it’s supposed to be.