What can we say… can’t beat em? Join um? For the last several years the issue, we were told, was that the “Sunni Triangle” in and around Baghdad was the hot spot due to Sunni insurgents. Afterall, the Sunnis (former loyalists to Saadam) did not come out to vote in droves in the first election so, hey, they must have been the bad guys. Right? Wrong…  This is the breaking news from AP today the spin is changing to allow “local” politics predominate…  Hmmm…. kinda sounds like that Federation idea Senator Joe Biden (D-DE) has been suggesting.  We’ll darn if the President isn’t beginning to see it his way… at least until the Shiites cry FOUL !!!, in the south. Music to Iranian ears as the chances now increase to penetrate the Shiite predominate southern regions. (Iranian – Iraqi War, Round II anyone ?? )

With little progress toward national political reconciliation in Baghdad, and Congress poised to reassess the troop surge, the Bush administration is maneuvering to spin its Iraq strategy in a different direction. Essentially, the argument now goes that instead of sectarian reconciliation from the capital, all politics is local. A series of handshake truces between the U.S. military and Sunni tribes — including some who not long ago fought as insurgents — is at the heart of the approach to bringing greater stability to Iraq.

“At some point, there was a switch in the terms of reference for how we evaluate this surge,” says Brian Katulis at the Center for American Progress, a left-leaning think tank. “It was that we were going to get the politics running at the national level. Now the key is local progress. It is not national progress.” — [Hat Tip: Mark Benjamin]