Monday, October 15, 2007

Victory over al-Qaida?

American military comnmanders are ready to say they have "fatally wounded" al-Qaida in Iraq (AQI) during recent battles. Now they're debating whether to crow about it, since it has a history of being adaptable and rising again. There's been some apparent success in Anbar, although William Lind isn't so sure. But the real point is that al-Qaida was always a sideshow in the bigger picture of trying to get Iraq stabilized (assuming that's the real mission). It was a tiny band led by foreign fighters, which made it easy to dislike, and it has tried to exacerbate sectarian tension and hatred, but that tension would be there without al-Qaida, and the Iraqi government has made almost no political progress -- except, perhaps in uniting over the demand that Blackwater USA be kicked out of the country.

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