This Week in Iraq: Notes from the Edge of the American Empire

It was a frustrating week, as all of the commercial media decided to repeat the dubious claim that the "surge" resulting in some progress. Between that and the constant reference to "al Qaeda-linked gunmen," it's getting downright depressing to try to counter the propaganda.

Even discussing "Al Qaeda in Iraq" as if it's a serious military threat plays into the hands of those who want an open-ended occupation (it is obviously a serious threat to Iraqi civilians and security forces). Our sources in Baghdad say the group is now predominantly Iraqi, with just a handful of "foreign fighters" sprinkled in. They are just one among many Sunni insurgent groups, and only their tactics, their strict form of Islam and the fact that the pro-war set finds them a convenient way to confuse Americans into linking Iraq and 9/11 differentiates them.

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