"In Ramady, the Sunni militants are fighting their fiercest war against the American soldiers. These militants launch their attacks from distances which are not so far from the positions controlled by the marines, and move back without serious causalities. Everyday, the American soldiers fight to hold on their positions, in a war against an enemy which seems to be existing everywhere, but not obvious most of the time."
For the people in the northwest parts of Iraq, Ramady part of it, in their everyday channel of communication, it is very normal to use guns between even the members of one family. There is lot of stories well known by the Iraqis about people of that side of the country. One story which I can recall is a quarrel over crossing a small bridge of one truck way. Two trucks met on the opposite sides of the bridge; each driver insisted that he is the first to go over the bridge. The quarrel evolved into a big fight; more relatives involved. Guns were used and the fight ended with a dead person & three injured. Keep in mind that the whole individuals are kinsmen. I tried to choose a believable story, since there are much sillier ones. For example someone tries to split a bomb with a cousin by cutting it into two pieces, using a hammer & a chisel; the result is clear after the bomb detonation. They quarreled over the bomb which they were intending to use it in catching fish. Even when Saddam was in power people of the western sides of Iraq were a pain in the neck for Saddam. It was well known their continuous raids on the government & military warehouses.
Another story of 85 years old is about what happened between Sheikh Dharee, head of Zo'baa tribe, and Colonel Girard A. Liegeman (not sure of the spelling), a British officer. It was the early days of the British occupation of Iraq. The British were trying to set order & laying the foundations for a new state called Iraq. Sheik Dharee had a very good relation with Colonel Liegeman. The colonel made use of him to guard the main desert road along Euphrates, leading to Syria. The sheik was benefiting from that task by illegally taxing people who travel on that way. As the new state institutions started to function, Colonel Liegeman told Sheik Dharee to stop guarding & taxing, since the new government was to take the role. Sheik Dharee raged against the decision which led to a serious conflict between the two men ended by the killing of Colonel Liegeman on 14 August 1920. The later Iraqi generations, I'm one of them, have read about Sheik Dharee as a patriot.
Bedouinism & tribalism, till nowadays, have great role in the Iraqi society. A pioneer in the modern Iraqi sociology, Dr. Ali Wardi (1913-96), said answering his critics "I'm not criticizing or condemning the bedouin & tribal way of life. All what I'm saying is that bedouin way of life is suitable for desert not for urban or rural communities." His assertion is to examine the distorted way of life the Iraqi society follows.
Anyhow, taming a bedouin community seems not to be easy. Saddam tried to calm down the people in western sides of Iraq by money & recruiting them in his secret services. Such policy made people of these parts of country abandon schools, with very low level of learning, to join Saddam's institutions which present to them money & authority. Nevertheless, they continued to represent real annoyance to Saddam till his last days in power.
Now, how the Americans are going to deal with this matter; I have no answer.