Bill Ardolino interviews a Fallujan. I find it interesting that the Fallujans and Americans agreed upon a pleasing myth. They’ll blame the conflict on outside jihadists like Al-Qaeda even though they both know the vast bulk of the fighters were locals. But now that they are allies, it’s better to gloss over that time period.

INDC: When did things go bad for al Qaeda?
Leo: I think it was maybe … 10 months ago? Ten months, one year, that’s it. And everything began in Ar Ramadi, the Awakening of the al Anbar tribes. And when we see it’s working, Fallujans talked about the same actions and tried to save the people and save Fallujah from al Qaeda.
INDC: And what did al Qaeda do that was so bad, specifically?
Leo: Specifically, they targeted our mosques, our imams.

Al-Qaeda certainly has a unique way of disagreeing with the religious leaders of Islam.