[crossposted to IAG]
A while back the New York Times and the [BBC](http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/5357340.stm) cheerfully reported that 25 Sunni tribes in Anbar had decided to support the Iraqi government in attacking insurgents.
Am I too cynical in thinking that the crucial sentence is this one:
In addition to the government’s blessing, Mr. Rishawi said, the tribes also wanted weapons and equipment to confront the Qaeda-backed insurgents.
Asking for weapons from the government isn’t a sign of loyalty – it’s about getting yourself the equipment to defend yourself against anybody – government, American, jihadi, whatever – who attacks you.
Every Iraqi grouping with an ounce of sense wants to keep itself heavily armed at the moment – and if the kit comes with a vague government permission to use it, so much the better.This isn’t any different from the militias that were incorporated into the various security forces, or the employment of tribes to guard oil pipelines.
Or am I being too cynical?