From a StateDept source that works with agencies of the Iraqi Parliament:
First and foremost of all, I want to thank all of you who have rushed e-mails and calls to me to see that I am Ok, in light of the suicide bombing of the Iraqi Parliament cafeteria. It was most heartening.
For those of you who did not care enough to e-mail me, it's OK, I'm all right.
Actually, depite the reporting I've heard from CNN, BBC and NPR, which keeps up the ominous drone of doom about the terrorists breaching the Parliament buliding in "the heart of the heavily fortified Green Zone," the FACT is the Parliament buliding is NOT IN the Green Zone. We turned it over to the Iraqis in 2006. And when it was, it was at the outer NW edge of the Green or International Zone.
Of course, no one here especially expects the press, with its now, 4 year old biases to get it right. But that being said, I am beginning to believe there is something else going on here that this episode illustrates, which in an unfortunately perverse way, suggests deeper progresss.
The attack was carried out by Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), the Mesopotamian affiliate of bin Laden's parent corporation. (Actually, it's more like a cooperative) It was directed in the first instance against what it sees are Sunni Quislings, who advocate the apostacy of political integration in finding a political "solution" to this strife.
The AQI started doing that in Al Anbar a while ago, attacking tribal leaders who decided to try to leverage a political resolution into all kinds of advantages, some high-minded, many not. After a few moths of attacks on these indigenous tribes many of the tribal leaders havebegan turning vilently and relentlessly against AQI. they began turning them in, but usually just tracked them down and killed them...by the truckloads.
If that begins to happen in Baghdad we have a real paradigm shift.
[redacted] noted correctly the other day when the Shia were demonstarting in Najaf for the expelling of the Coalition "occupiers," the most significant and perdominant visual was the crowds waving the Iraqi flag; not the green banner of Shia or the black martyrs' flags. That act of nationalism, even though likely staged, had to resonante with a sizeable portion of the demonstartors. At least the leadership felt the need or advantage of doing that.
You'll never get the press to talk about this in that way, but it's probably a fairer indication of trends here.
As you can see, I'm still hopeful and confident that we can prevail here, or maybe I should say the Iraqis can prevail......no, it is we that must prevail.