Shiite Insurgents. Shiite Insurgents!

· dKo journal, Edgewise, Paleoblogs

“Shiite Insurgents.” The Bush administration has been rolling this surprising combination out in recent weeks. I think we’ll be hearing more of it.
For years, “Insurgents” has meant Sunnis, because they are trying to bring down the government. Shiite fighters, have been “Militants,” and “Extremists,” but they haven’t been “Insurgents.” Whom would they be insurgent against? There is already a Shiite government in Baghdad. At the same time, Sunni fighters are being transmogrified into “Allies.” Allies of whom? The US Army?
My basis for the following is very thin at this point, but I suspect we are about to be sold a major “paradigm shift,” an extremely dangerous one. that “Shiite Insurgents” represents. If so, the inexorable Iraq Study Group plan–the Bush version of it, anyhow–would turn very ugly as we watch its generalities turned into specifics.
The Generalities:
–We end “Combat Operations.”
–We concentrate on training.
–We continue to strike at just one remaining target.
They used to say this target was Al Qaeda in Iraq; but increasingly they say it is “Terrorists.” (So, we’ll strike terrorists, but not truck bombers. Truck bombers would be “Combat Operations.” What do you have to do to be a terrorist around here?)
The Specifics (according to my very speculative suspicions):
1- “Combat Operations” turn out to be operations coordinated with, and subject to, the Iraqi government. Majority rule in Iraq has become an annoyance. We’ll cut the government out.
2- “Training” bypasses the government and goes directly to the army–or rather to the parts of the army we select. Maybe (discreetly) to our new Sunni Allies too. Our favored Training Units get good food, supplies, armor, weaponry, Intel, and logistics. They get paid on time. They get patronage. They bond directly to us. They stop answering Maliki’s phone calls.
3- “Terrorists” will be whoever we say they are, including these new Shiite Insurgents (probably Moktada’s forces), and definitely the vast network of Iranian-controlled (i.e., anti-US Shiite) terrorist cells that we say riddle the country.
The Shiite Insurgents turn out to be insurgent against us.