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Al Qaeda Out Of Baghdad?

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That’s what we’re saying, but are we sure?

See, we’ve heard similar claims before, but they ultimately just move back in. And since we’re going to draw down the troops who helped get the terrorists out, this feels like another case of temporary good news that could very well give way to chaos yet again.

From the NY Times:

BAGHDAD, Nov. 7 — American forces have routed Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, the Iraqi militant network, from every neighborhood of Baghdad, a top American general said today, allowing American troops involved in the “surge” to depart as planned.

Maj. Gen. Joseph F. Fil Jr., commander of United States forces in Baghdad, also said that American troops had yet to clear some 13 percent of the city, including Sadr City and several other areas controlled by Shiite militias. But, he said, “there’s just no question” that violence had declined since a spike in June.

“Murder victims are down 80 percent from where they were at the peak,” and attacks involving improvised bombs are down 70 percent, he said.

See, this is the problem with treating al Qaeda as if it were a nation. It’s not as if we pushed Germany out of France, and we all know the terrorists have simply moved into some other area with fewer troops. That’s what they do. And as we continue to stay in Iraq, new people will join al Qaeda and they’ll be able to move into Baghdad and begin to wreak havoc.

Yep, I’m a gloom and doomer, and it’s specifically because we’ve never figured out a way to solve this problem. Because folks, this isn’t a solution, it’s merely a band-aid. Sure, deaths have decreased in the short term, but our expenditures keep increasing and our all volunteer force is being decimated by PTSD.

And again, let’s not forget that the surge was meant to create an atmosphere so the Iraqis could build a solid government.

Has that happened?

And though Sunni extremist groups could revive and “reinfest very quickly,” General Fil said, Iraq’s leaders should now have the peace they need to build a trusted, cross-sectarian government. But progress toward that, he said, has been “disappointing.”

Disappointing means no. And we’ll continue to see “disappointing” results and our soldiers will keep dying and we’ll continue to fall deeper into debt.

Again, it’s good that al Qaeda is out of Baghdad, but it should have been us out of their first.