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Positive Signs in Sadr City and Fallujah

In a sign that General Petraeus' counter-insurgency program is being rolled out on the ground, US and Iraqi forces are opening community medical clinics in impoverished Sadr City as they take and hold neighborhoods. It is a concerted effort to turn the tables and undermine Muqtada al-Sadr's ability to win militant support through providing public services amid poverty-stricken Iraqis.

In another sign, members of a local Sunni tribe joined forces with Iraqi police in an operation that killed 39 al-Qaeda terrorists in Fallujah. It is a sign that the new MNF-I Commanding General David Petraeus is correct when he said that more and more Iraqi Sunnis in al-Anbar "have had enough" of the civilian killings. al-Qaeda terrorists tactics now include the use of children in car bombs to clear checkpoints more easily, then blowing up the car bomb with the children still in the backseat after the terrorists are clear of the vehicle.

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