Iraq's Sunni militias already had a new name given to them by the US Military, but it wasn't good enough. That is, it wasn't marketable enough.
'Concerned Local Citizens' is what these Sunni neighbourhood patrol groups were, and are, but obviously it doesn't roll off the tongue, and it doesn't sound very exciting. The main battle for Iraq War hearts and minds is back home in the United States. Concerned Local Citizens (CLC) didn't look or sound good on Fox News. It was too hard to give the name of those now helping the US to 'win' the Iraq War that real Fox News polish. The spinning logo, splashing out laser-bright reflections and beams of light as it tumbles and reverses. Hypnotically.
At least, Concerned Local Citizens sounded better than the old name for Sunnis who fought Americans and Shiite militias in the endless maze of Baghdad's cramped neighbourhoods. The CLC used to be called" "insurgents" and, more commonly, "terrorists" and even "killers who kill". Particularly by President Bush. But that was back in 2004 and 2005.
The CLC Sunni militia collective has been rebranded, and they've got a rocking new name :
The Sons Of Iraq
Yes, now that works. It sounds like the title of a great action movie, or an obliteratingly hard death metal band. Even better, a video game.
No doubt you'll be hearing plenty more about The Sons Of Iraq in the mainstream media.
Can't wait to see the Fox News logo.
You know it will look great on a t-shirt.
Once an urban war has been underway for more than a few years and you realise the locals will never stop fighting, it usually works out cheaper to pay the militias and insurgents not to fight.
The U.S. military has changed the term is uses to describe the neighborhood militia groups that have become a linchpin of the improved security situation in Iraq.
Now known as “Sons of Iraq,” the groups previously had been called “concerned local citizens” throughout the military and in press releases. In recent days, briefings by military officials and news releases have used the new name.
Spokesmen in Baghdad said the change was made because of both a language shortcoming and to make a distinction between two different movements — the “Awakening” groups in Anbar and the local militias that have been funded by U.S. troops in other parts of the country.
The Awakening began in Anbar province last summer, when sheiks and tribal leaders — saying they were fed up with al-Qaida in Iraq attacks and intimidation — pledged their loyalty and their men to the U.S. military. Since then, similar deals have been struck with mostly Sunni groups throughout Iraq, with some Shiite clans following suit.
Whatever they are called, local militias, which are paid and sometimes given uniforms by U.S. troops, have been credited with a role in solidifying gains in Iraq.
At least, not to fight you.
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