A useful myth? A dangerous reality? Even on this most basic issue, the divide is deep. Stanley Kurtz insists that the distinction between al Qaeda and the Sunni insurgents is an unhelpful one. So why does the president keep making it? And how is it that the one actual success we appear to have had in Anbar rests precisly on this distinction? I have no doubt that al Qaeda is present in Iraq and a menace there as everywhere. But I also deeply distrust this president and his war-propaganda. That Jihadists would want to exploit the sectarianism and anarchy the invasion unleashed is a no-brainer. That they are somehow autonomous from the internal Iraq conflict, and the same people who attacked on 9/11, is flim-flam, designed to delude and corral.

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