Well, no shit:
Is no news good news or bad news? In Iraq, it seems good news is deemed no news. There has been striking success in the past few months in the attempt to improve security, defeat al-Qaeda sympathisers and create the political conditions in which a settlement between the Shia and the Sunni communities can be reached. This has not been an accident but the consequence of a strategy overseen by General David Petraeus in the past several months. While summarised by the single word “surge” his efforts have not just been about putting more troops on the ground but also employing them in a more sophisticated manner. This drive has effectively broken whatever alliances might have been struck in the past by terrorist factions and aggrieved Sunnis. Cities such as Fallujah, once notorious centres of slaughter, have been transformed in a remarkable time.
Indeed, on every relevant measure, the shape of the Petraeus curve is profoundly encouraging. It is not only the number of coalition deaths and injuries that has fallen sharply (October was the best month for 18 months and the second-best in almost four years), but the number of fatalities among Iraqi civilians has also tumbled similarly. This process started outside Baghdad but now even the capital itself has a sense of being much less violent and more viable. As we report today, something akin to a normal nightlife is beginning to re-emerge in the city. As the pace of reconstruction quickens, the prospects for economic recovery will be enhanced yet further. With oil at record high prices, Iraq should be an extremely prosperous nation and in a position to start planning for its future with confidence.
None of this means that all the past difficulties have become history. A weakened al-Qaeda will be tempted to attempt more spectacular attacks to inflict substantial loss of life in an effort to prove that it remains in business. Although the tally of car bombings and improvised explosive devices has fallen back sharply, it would only take one blast directed at an especially large crowd or a holy site of unusual reverence for the headlines about impending civil war to be allowed another outing. The Government headed by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has become more proactive since the summer, but must immediately take advantage of these favourable conditions. The supposed representatives of the Iraqi people in Baghdad need to show both responsibility and creativity if the country’s potential is to be realised.
The current achievements, and they are achievements, are being treated as almost an embarrassment in certain quarters. The entire context of the contest for the Democratic nomination for president has been based on the conclusion that Iraq is an absolute disaster and the first task of the next president is to extricate the United States at maximum speed. Democrats who voted for the war have either repudiated their past support completely (John Edwards) or engaged in a convoluted partial retraction (Hillary Clinton). Congressional Democrats have spent most of this year trying (and failing) to impose a timetable for an outright exit.
Gee…say it ain’t so. Once in awhile the inescapable good news has to be recognized. The Democrats, abject traitors that they are, were banking on American defeat in the GWOT; to work their lunatic fringe into a frenzy and get them back into the White House.
Looks like the next Zawahiri video is gonna be as desperate as the last one:
Al-Qaida’s No. 2, Ayman al-Zawahri, has issued a new video tape calling on Muslims to unite in jihad, or holy war, and support the Islamist movement in Iraq, a US-based intelligence monitoring group said Wednesday.
……Al-Qaida’s deputy chief called on all Muslims to join the holy war against the West.
“May Allah pluck out your eye if you haven’t yet seen that jihad is an individual duty,” the transcript quoted al-Zawahri as saying.
……He also encouraged Iraqis and Muslims in general to show greater support to the Islamic State of Iraq, an al-Qaida insurgent front in the country, despite detractors saying it lacks “necessary qualifications,” the SITE group quoted al-Zawahri as saying.
Al-Qaida’s deputy leader did not name these detractors, but implicitly acknowledged some problems.
“The first thing which our beloved brothers in Iraq must realize is the critical nature of unity,” al-Zawahri was quoted as saying. He also called on Kurds from northern Iraq to join forces with insurgents.
It was not clear what problems al-Zawahri was alluding to, but a number of major Sunni Arab tribes have turned against the Islamic State in recent months and have cooperated with US forces in the Iraqi provinces of Anbar and Diyala.
Later, al-Zawahri further alluded to the insurgents’ possible shortcomings in governing the zones they control in Iraq and to interior tensions among insurgents.
“The mujahideen [insurgents] are not innocent of deficiency, error and slips, because they are humans who are sometimes right and sometimes wrong, as humans are,” al-Zawahri was quoted as saying. “The mujahideen must solve their problems among themselves,” he said, calling on the insurgents not to make public their internal disputes.
……Bin Laden’s deputy also lashed out at Egypt and Saudi Arabia for supporting the United States in the Middle East, the transcript said.
Which is funny, considering both contribute to and support terrorism.
The tape played television footage from US and other TV channels quoting various officials and journalists discussing corruption in Saudi Arabia.
In a lengthy development apparently addressed at Iraqis, he warned against the rise of Saudi influence in Iraq.
“If the agents of the Saudi state were to take control of government in Iraq … the Iraqis would then suffer the same repression and humiliation which the people suffer under Saudi rule under the pretext of combating terrorism,” al-Zawahri warned.
He warned against the Saudis backing the “Zionist Crusade led by America” in the Middle East.
Al-Zawahri concluded by calling on followers not to “despair” or “worry” about their fight, but to “be encouraged and optimistic,” the transcript said.
The IntelCenter, another US-based intelligence group that monitors such messages, said al-Zawahri’s new video,was being released by as-Sahab, al-Qaida’s media wing.
Entitled “The Advice of One Concerned,” it was the eighth video featuring a statement from al-Zawahri this year and the 59th video released by as-Sahab in 2007, IntelCenter said.
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain…..