Anyone care to take a stab at what Gerson means by this:
The resentment of Sunni tribal leaders against al-Qaeda's highhanded brutality predated the surge -- but the surge gave those leaders the confidence and ability to oppose al-Qaeda.
The surge was proposed in December, 2006, following the elections. The Anbar tribes made a decision about AQI in September, four months earlier. Maybe the Anbar sheiks read the Charlie Cook Report and just extrapolated from there. This macaca thing is going to kill Allen in Fairfax. Death to America.
Of course, I recognize he's using patented Gerson weasel language (e.g., the "resentment" -- not the action -- predated the surge). But it's still intended to mislead -- which is unfortunately a regular feature of his op-eds, not to mention his speeches and his life more generally.