Bill Weinberg has an interesting report in The Nation about "an active civil resistance in Iraq that opposes the occupation, the torture regime it protects and the Islamist and Baathist insurgencies alike."
The [Iraq Freedom Congress] was formed in 2005, bringing together trade unions, women's organizations, neighborhood assemblies and student groups around two demands: a secular Iraqi state and an end to the occupation….
The IFC's self-governing zone of some 5,000 in Baghdad, established in the district of Husseiniya more than a year ago, is an island of coexistence in a city torn by sectarian cleansing, says [IFC president Samir] Adil. Thanks to the Safety Force, the district has become a no-go zone for sectarian militias. "There has been no sectarian killing in Husseiniya since September 2006," Adil boasts. The IFC is working to establish more self-governing zones in Baghdad's mixed Sunni-Shiite districts, and it has a similar autonomous zone in Kirkuk.
I don't know how seriously to take Adil's claims. I'm certainly skeptical of the idea that there have been "no" sectarian killings in Husseinya in the last 15 months. A quick Google search turned up this story from May, in which "armed men stopped a minibus and shot dead all 11 passengers."
Still, Weinberg's bullshit detector has impressed me in the past. (His coverage of Central America in the '80s refused to idealize the Sandinistas or to paper over their restrictions on civil liberties, for example, even as he declined to become a cheerleader for Reagan's foreign policy.) If you want to take a closer look at the IFC, its website is here. Weinberg wrote about the group's efforts in Kirkuk here.
In other war news: Kevin Drum notes some unpleasant developments. John Robb examines the growth of guerrilla groups and asks: Does size matter? And Patrick Cockburn gives a useful summary of the recent twists and turns among Iraq's different factions. Cockburn's bottom line: "American commentators…look at Iraq in over-simple terms and exaggerate the extent to which the US is making the political weather and is in control of events there."