Something has been happening in Ramadi, a city described by the UK Times as fighting against becoming al Qaeda's capital. Perhaps you missed this in your reading of the American media:
While the world's attention has been focused on Baghdad's slide into sectarian warfare, something remarkable has been happening in Ramadi, a city of 400,000 inhabitants that al—Qaeda and its Iraqi allies have controlled since mid—2004 and would like to make the capital of their cherished Islamic caliphate.
A power struggle has erupted: al—Qaeda's reign of terror is being challenged. Sheikh Sittar and many of his fellow tribal leaders have cast their lot with the once—reviled US military. They are persuading hundreds of their followers to sign up for the previously defunct Iraqi police. American troops are moving into a city that was, until recently, a virtual no—go area. A battle is raging for the allegiance of Ramadi's battered and terrified citizens and the outcome could have far—reaching consequences.
Joseph Crowley 11 20 06