An unsettling nugget from this week's New Yorker:

"I asked Zaidan what sort of deal had led to the Sunni Awakening. 'It’s not a deal,' he said, bristling. 'People have come to realize that our fate is tied to the Americans’, and theirs to ours. If they are successful in Iraq, it will depend on Anbar. We always said this. Time was lost. America was lost, but now it’s woken up; it now holds a thread in its hand. For the first time, they’re doing something right.'

Zaidan said that Anbar’s Sunni tribes no longer had any need to exact blood vengeance on U.S. forces. 'We’ve already taken our revenge,' he said. 'We’re the ones who’ve made them crawl on their stomachs, and now we’re the ones to pick them up.' He added, 'Once Anbar is settled, we must take control of Baghdad, and we will.' There would have to be a lot more fighting before the capital was taken back from the Shiites, he said. 'The Anbaris will take charge of the purge. What the whole world failed to do in Anbar, we have done overnight. Baghdad will be a lot easier.'

Kevin Drum points to three pieces worth absorbing this weekend: from Tom Ricks, John Lee Anderson (above) and a post by Marc Lynch. Check this post out also - noted by Matt, by Brian Katulis. I have a feeling that this war is not "drawing to a successful close".

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