The Independent Republic of Al Qaeda in Iraq?

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Republican Senator John Warner said yesterday that Iraq was "drifting sideways." Make that accelerating to full speed... in reverse. The war that was sold as a way to make the world safe from terror has, it seems, made Iraq safe for terrorists.

Inexplicably buried in yesterday's Washington Post frontpage story about escalating sectarian violence is the explosive, sickening news that Sunni insurgent groups — including Al Qaeda in Iraq — have declared an independent Islamic republic in Iraq's lawless Anbar province:

The announcement was made by a spokesman for the Mujaheddin Shura Council, an umbrella organization of insurgent groups that includes al-Qaeda in Iraq, and aired by al-Jazeera satellite television.

WTF?! How is this not in the headline? "Al Qaeda Declares Victory, Independence in Anbar"? Of course, a declaration of something doesn't make it so.

But the same must be said of Bush's repeated declarations that we're going to win this war, or that Iraq isn't currently in a state of civil war. Also buried in the Post piece, this discouraging word:

In Washington, Anthony Cordesman, an analyst for the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said by telephone: "If you total up the number of people that are being killed, that are being wounded, that are being displaced and are being forced to leave the country, and the zones in which there is major civil conflict...trying to declare there isn't a civil war borders on the absurd."

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