Al Qaeda in Iraq

Last week I had planned to blog about President Bush's statement basically placing all the blame on Iraq.  I ran out of time and never got around to the post.  Well, today's Carpetbaggerreport has a terffiric rebuttal of the claim that has given me an excuse to revisit the issue.  From the Carpetbagger:

Just 10 days ago, the president participated in a joint press
conference with Estonia President Ilves. Asked about Iraq, the
president blamed al Qaeda.
?There?s a lot of sectarian violence taking place, fomented, in my
opinion, because of these attacks by, by al Qaeda, causing people to
seek reprisal,? Bush said.

Except it was the wrong answer. As Lt. Gen. Michael Maples, the
director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, explained to Congress
shortly before the president?s remarks, ?Attacks by terrorist groups
like al Qaeda in Iraq account for only a fraction of the insurgent
violence.? Maples described al Qaeda in Iraq as ?extremely
disorganized? and added, ?I would question at this point how effective
they are at all at the state level.? An NBC analysis showed that, in total, the terrorist group makes up only about 2 or 3 percent of the enemy forces in Iraq.

It became yet another point of embarrassment for the president ? by
blaming al Qaeda for Iraq?s civil war, Bush once again appeared
confused about the problems plaguing the country. It prompted Frank
Rich to write,
?It?s not that he can?t handle the truth about Iraq. He doesn?t know
what the truth is?. The bottom line: America has a commander in chief
who can?t even identify some 97 percent to 98 percent of the combatants
in a war that has gone on longer than our involvement in World War II.?

Either Bush just doesn't get it, or, he's lying.  Take your pick. 
Either option is not particularly encouraging for a president. 

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