Americablog.com has a post up telling Petraeus to stop lying about how the surge is causing a drop in violence in Al Anbar province. Aravosis points out that the surge is not occurring in Al-Anbar. He's right, but the surge is having an effect there and its a good argument for withdrawal.
Of all the troops sent into Baghdad for the surge a number of them came from newly deployed units. But more than a significant number were pulled from Al-Anbar. This has had the affect of reducing pressure and removing targets of opportunity there. The locals have been trying quell sectarian violence and go after AQI themselves.
Administration supporters have been upbeat about the way in which some Sunni Arab populations, especially in al-Anbar Province, have turned against the foreign jihadi volunteers that were behind much mindless violence. These jihadis, styled "al-Qaida" by the Bush administration ( -- Juan Cole)
I think this shows that the Iraqi's would much rather settle their own issues without violence, like we see in other tribal warfare. The Shia and the Sunni have been living together for a very, very long time. When the US Forces are removed from view this culture tries to govern itself. Which is not surprising really. If we remove the blinders that come with assuming the 'white mans burden', it becomes obvious if we withdraw there will be little excuse for sectarian strife. The Iraqi's will find it much easier to hunt down AQI since they are familiar with the country and speak the language.
So the next time someone tells you if we withdraw it will be chaos, point out thats not what happened in Al-Anbar.
UPDATE: Ah, and as if on que here we have some Pentagon
propagandistswar gamers saying if we leave its chaos! CHAOS I TELL YOU! DOGS AND CATS IN THE STREETS HAVING SEX!
DOUBLE PLUS UPDATE: But here we have a another example of what I am talking about (Basra):
Last spring, fierce clashes erupted between Fadhila and the Mahdi Army, a paramilitary group loyal to radical Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. Several people were killed on both sides and offices and buildings belonging to the two parties were destroyed. Mediators from tribes and other political parties managed to end the fighting...