Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Saudi and Iraqi amnesties seem to be working

In an earlier DFW posts I argued that Iraqi and Saudi militants should be dealt with more like U.S. old West cut-throats like Jessie James than as guerillas. Like Jessie James, these Islamic militants are out hiding in the "bad lands" where they are surrounded by a sympathethic population that is helping to shield them. That suggests a "possie" technique, involving sheriffs and leading citizens resort to "carrot and stick" approaches, would be more successful than, say, calling in the U.S. airforce to bomb a parking lot. Maybe someone was listening, for the next day the Saudis took controversial steps that sounded just like they had formed a possie. Iraq's new government announced a similar amnesty "and very sharp sword" yesterday. It now seems like this use of local police rather than military techniques is starting to work.

Reuters has several top stories today suggesting the Saudi and Iraqi amnesties, as well as greater local control over police forces, are paying off. Today an Al Queda militant surrendered to Saudi authorities under the amensty. The Iraqi government also arrested 500 suspects in a crackdown on organized crime and weapons trading, presumably resulting from tips under yesterday's Iraqi amnesty program as well as a new emphasis on local priorities in the Iraqi police due to the political handover.

Let's hope this hope this new emphasis on police-type techniques continues to pay off in dealing with the militants.

Other blog coverage:
Outside The Beltway: Saudis: Bin Laden aide surrenders
PoliBlog: Bin Laden Ally Surrenders
Backcountry Conservative: Bin Laden Associate Surrenders to Saudis