In this morning’s NY Times I read:
The insurgency here [in northern Iraq] is a caldron of prominent Sunni Arab groups that include Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia and Ansar al-Sunna. The city was a recruitment base for commanders of the old Iraqi Army, and former officers are now among the leaders of the local guerrilla movement.
Pop Quiz, hotshot. Which of the following statements regarding the above quote are true?
1. I had to look up the word “caldron,” and it turns out it’s just a stupid alternate spelling for “cauldron;” the vessel in which a witch stirs her brew.
2. It is unclear what the author means by “recruitment base” – it could be either A) that when the Iraqi Army was in tact, commanders were recruited from here, or B) that currently, former Iraqi Army commanders get recruited from here to join the “prominent Sunni Arab groups.”
3. The wording implies that “local guerrilla movement” and “prominent Sunni Arab groups that include Al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia and Ansar al-Sunna” are interchangable.
4. They are not interchangable.
5. Local guerrilla movements are often defined as people fighting to protect their homes from invading forces. Invading forces are foreign troops like the U.S. military and migratory jihadi groups like Al-Qaeda.
6. Prominent Sunni Arab groups might not be locals.
7. They are probably not even Iraqis.
OK hotshot, the quiz is over. Answers: