Monday, October 15, 2007

Washington Post: "Al-Qaeda in Iraq Reported Crippled"

Well, the foam-flecked loons will have a field day with that WaPo headline. I can hear the chest thumping and chickenhawk bravado from here. They are already lighting bonfires around which to dance naked while chanting “Boo-Ya, Bitches! We Win! U!S!A! U!S!A!”

They are so predictable.

They will read the first sentence:

The U.S. military believes it has dealt devastating and perhaps irreversible blows to al-Qaeda in Iraq in recent months, leading some generals to advocate a declaration of victory over the group, which the Bush administration has long described as the most lethal U.S. adversary in Iraq.

Then conveniently overlook the inconvenient parts…

But as the White House and its military commanders plan the next phase of the war, other officials have cautioned against taking what they see as a premature step that could create strategic and political difficulties for the United States. Such a declaration could fuel criticism that the Iraq conflict has become a civil war in which U.S. combat forces should not be involved. At the same time, the intelligence community, and some in the military itself, worry about underestimating an enemy that has shown great resilience in the past.

"I think it would be premature at this point," a senior intelligence official said of a victory declaration over AQI, as the group is known. Despite recent U.S. gains, he said, AQI retains "the ability for surprise and for catastrophic attacks." Earlier periods of optimism, such as immediately following the June 2006 death of AQI founder Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in a U.S. air raid, not only proved unfounded but were followed by expanded operations by the militant organization.

[keep reading]

I hate that these jokers make me a conspiracy theorist, but what the hell? I’m just a crackpot blogger anyway, so here goes…is the WaPo article just a piece of a larger PR campaign?

Let’s take stock…last spring more astute observers started noticing that suddenly every single thing that happened in Iraq was the work of al Qaeda in Iraq. If a swarthy man sneezed, it was the work of al Qaeda. By last summer, virtually every report out of Iraq was citing violence by “al Qaeda” – but in reality, al Qaeda in Iraq has never really been more than a bogey-man, even the most generous assessments put their numbers at 10% of the insurgency, and likely only about 4%. (It has been long acknowledged that Shi’ite militias have represented a far greater threat than Sunni insurgents and jihadist fighters professing membership in AQI.)

Then the references slowed down.

And now, the WaPo prints a specious headline (Fred Hiatt is a perennial contender for the Wurlitzer Prize) and yellow feathers fill the air as the self-congratulating cowards and chickenhawks bust out the beer-bongs, launch at one another in belly-bumps and exchange high-fives and Hulk poses. “We’re kickin’ ass!!!”

Of a piece? That’s possible I suppose.

It’s always good news when groups attacking Americans are on the wane. But only if there is some “there” there, and this cast of characters has a lousy track record where honesty is concerned - having lied to get us into the war in the first damned place - so you'll just have to pardon me if I don't come running when the little boy cries "wolf!"