I was struck by this piece by Fred Kagan. First, he talks about violence:

Though you may be getting the opposite impression from news reports, the sectarian violence that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi had unleashed by destroying the Samarra Mosque in February 2006 has subsided. Measured weekly, sectarian killings are down by almost two-thirds since the start of the Baghdad security plan. Anbar Province, Al Qaeda’s former sanctuary in western Iraq, has turned against the terrorists. Anbaris by the thousands are signing up to fight against Al Qaeda. Violent attacks in the province are down by 50% and combined casualties down by 65% between early January and mid-May.

But the interesting part was this:

The movement is spreading. Sheiks in Diyala, Salah-ad-Din and Babil provinces are reaching out to coalition forces to help us.

This tells me that he is not worried about a political compromise in the capital. He is worried about the "grassroots" violence.


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Exploring McCainia » Blog Archive » Reasonably Concise Summary of McCain New Media/Blogger Conference Call, Monday, May 21 - McCain Takes On Romney on Immigration: “Maybe he can get out his small-varmint gun and drive those Guatemalans o · May 21, 2007 at 10:23 PM

[…] Question #2 – Jennifer Rubin – immigration. Question #3 – Michael Goldfarb of the Weekly Standard – he has his own summary of the entire conference call on their site, titled “McCain Blasts Romney, Says Cornyn Exchange Exaggerated”.   His own question dealt with the MRAP program – go to his site to read more about it.  Question #4 – Pat from Brainster’s Blog asked about presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul and conspiracy theories regarding 9/11, and how destructive those theories are.  He has a fully detailed summary of his own question at Brainster’s Blog, as well as generalized observations on the call as a whole.  “I managed to ask Senator McCain about the 9-11 conspiracy theories, using Ron Paul’s silly comment at the debate as a lead-in and asked if he could comment about the “Truthers” and what more we could do to combat this virus which has now infected an estimated 35% of the Democratic electorate.” “Senator McCain responded that these conspiracy theories arise in a democracy where people are free to speak their minds, but that they are damaging to the image of America abroad and disruptive to the fabric of society at home. He did indicate that he was very disturbed by the 35% figure and hoped that was not accurate.”Question #5 – “Eye” from Eyeon08.com.  He asked about a post on his own new media site, referring to a NY Daily News article on a new measure of success in Iraq.    Senator McCain replied that the path to success would be “long and hard and tough.”Question #6 – John Hindraker from Power Line, who has a summary of the entire conference call titled “Curses, Part 2″ on his own site.  He asked about immigration.  Question #7 – Ryan Sager from the New York Sun.  Sager has an extremely detailed summary of not only the conference call, but the reaction from the new media over McCain’s attack on Mitt Romney – you can click on his story – “McCain Hits Romney Hard” – for all of the in-depth stuff. Sager has an audio clip of that part of the McCain conference call, as well as a response from Romney’s camp.  This article from Sager, and his reprinting of McCain’s answer to his question, led to the title of this post.  It refers to McCain’s suggestion that due to Romney’s shifting positions on other issues, “maybe he [Romney] can get out his small-varmint gun and drive those Guatemalans off his yard.” […]

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