It was obvious Sunday we would get a few of these stories… Let’s hope this is the new norm:
TONY EASTLEY: Mark Willacy, we’ve heard reports about the high voter turnout, but now there are reports of how some voters have taken on the insurgents in order to vote, you know, the people are fighting back.
MARK WILLACY: That’s right, Tony. The Iraqi police have investigated a case in the village of al-Mudhariya, which is just south of Baghdad. The villagers there say that before the election insurgents came and warned them that if they voted in last weekend’s election, they would pay.
Now the people of this mixed village of Sunni and Shia Muslims, they ignored the threat and they did turn out to vote.
We understand that last night the insurgents came back to punish the people of al-Mudhariya, but instead of metering out that punishment the villagers fought back and they killed five of the insurgents and wounded eight. They then burnt the insurgents’ car. So the people of that village have certainly had enough of the insurgents.
TONY EASTLEY: Do you think that is a one off, Mark, or is it a sign perhaps that some Iraqis are no longer sympathetic to the insurgents’ cause, or at least no longer willing to turn a blind eye?
MARK WILLACY: It would appear that people are getting sick of the insurgency. I understand, though, that this is the first report of Iraqis confronting insurgents and actually fighting back in such a way.
But certainly many people here see the insurgency as the work of foreigners who want to turn their country into some sort of Islamic state, like Afghanistan under the Talbian.
And a couple of days ago we spoke to some voters in central Baghdad and every one of them basically said that they’d like the insurgents to stop their bombing and shooting attacks. Some even said they’d voted just to send a message to the insurgents that they would not be frightened any more.
I think the next 2 weeks are critical… a few locals taking out a few insurgents and the whole dynamic of the last year changes. Cross your fingers.