Anbar Reality Check
It's a very, very good thing that Anbar Sunni tribes see how toxic al Qaeda is. But we should not mistake a tactical alliance with a shift in underlying reality:
In a survey conducted Aug. 17-24 for ABC News, the BBC and NHK, the Japanese broadcaster, among a random national sample of 2,212 Iraqis, 72 percent in Anbar expressed no confidence whatsoever in United States forces. Seventy-six percent said the United States should withdraw now up from 49 percent when we polled there in March, and far above the national average.
Withdrawal timetable aside, every Anbar respondent in our survey opposed the presence of American forces in Iraq 69 percent "strongly" so. Every Anbar respondent called attacks on coalition forces "acceptable," far more than anywhere else in the country. All called the United States-led invasion wrong, including 68 percent who called it "absolutely wrong."
More skepticism here.