Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Over there:

BAGHDAD - More than two years ago, Sheik Fasal al Gaood approached the U.S. military with what was then an unprecedented offer: His tribesmen were prepared to help American troops rout insurgents linked to al Qaida from Anbar province in western Iraq.

But the Sunni Muslim tribal leader and former provincial governor met one rebuff after another from American officers, he told McClatchy Newspapers at the time. Discouraged and angry, he warned that U.S. officers risked losing him as an ally.

The Americans eventually came around, and al Gaood renewed his offer. He helped turn some of Anbar's most prominent Sunni tribes into a force in the war against al Qaida's followers. That high-stakes partnership may have cost him his life: Al Gaood and 11 other Iraqis were killed Monday in a bombing at a Baghdad hotel where tribal sheiks who've joined forces with the U.S. were scheduled to meet.