Keeping al Qaeda in Iraq Alive?

There has been good news from Iraq lately, especially from Sunni areas, with respect to the small but deadly part of the civil war that pays allegiance to the al Qaeda brand. But this passage from the WaPo really struck me:

As the White House and its military commanders plan the next phase of the war, other officials have cautioned against taking what they see as a premature step that could create strategic and political difficulties for the United States. Such a declaration could fuel criticism that the Iraq conflict has become a civil war in which U.S. combat forces should not be involved.

So we have to keep success against AQI on the downlow because it might interfere the simplistic rationale for continuing the occupation indefinitely. When will the president be honest and tell us that he thinks we should indeed police the Iraqi civil war indefinitely, if only because there might be some local rapprochements between Sunnis and Shiites along the lines we are seeing? Wouldn't that be a more honest and more persuasive rationale for indefinite occupation than the al Qaeda canard?