More Inauspiciousness: Your Rent-a-Sheikh Gets Killed
The leader of local Sunni tribes in Iraqwho have joined American and Iraqi forces in fighting extremist Sunnimilitants was killed by a bomb today, Iraqi police officials said,potentially undermining what has become a new thrust of United Statespolicy in the country.
It could be a significant setback for American efforts to work more closely with local tribes against Al Qaeda.Recently the council had begun to reach out to other tribes to bringthem into closer cooperation with the American and Iraqi government,and had met recently with southern Shia leaders.Authorities imposed astate of emergency in Anbar Province following his assassination,police officials said. At least one other person escorting him was alsokilled in the explosion.
So Bush’s big debut for Magical September just got further clouded. First the oil compromise collapses on the eve of his presentation. And now the guy Bush was parading around last week as the symbol of great promise in Anbar just got blown to bits. But don’t worry. I’m sure Bush won’t … um … dwell on these depressing details.
Mark Lynch has more on the meaning of Risha’s death, including the speculation that Risha was not killed by Al Qaeda.