DON'T LET'S STAY THE COURSE. Victor Davis Hanson, promoting the carnival shooting game model of anti-terrorism:
"One of the untold stories is just how many of the al Qaeda kingpins who started this war on 9/11 are now dead, arrested, or in hiding. It is not just the likes of Zarqawi or Khalid Sheikh Mohammed or Mohammad Atef or Ramzi Binalshibh who are not longer free or alive. On August 31, the U.S. military announced that the Egyptian and Afghan veteran senior al Qaeda leader Abu Yaqub al-Masri was killed.
I think that this is the same al-Masri whom Sheik Mohammed, in a transcript of his testimony, said was responsible for setting up recruiting protocols for al Qaeda prior to 9/11 in Afghanistan. Although it is taboo to say so, it really is true that Afghan veteran terrorists like al-Masri and Zarqawi did flee from Afghanistan to Iraq where they often ended up dead."
It's not "taboo" to say that Masri and Zarqawi fled from Afghanistan to Iraq, it's just more relevant to point out that they did so because they saw the U.S. invasion of Iraq as a great opportunity to expand their jihad. Yes, they were both eventually killed there, but not before they'd facilitated the arrival, indoctrination, and training of scores of new Salafist mujahideen. I don't think this can be considered a success for the war on terror.
The lesson to be drawn from the "untold story" of the capture or death of various al-Qaeda kingpins (each of which is celebrated in Right Blogistan as proof that we've turned yet another corner) is how little effect each has had on the level of violence in Iraq, or on the growth of al-Qaedism internationally. The simple, unavoidable fact, which has yet to penetrate Hanson's secure bunker of a skull, is that Bush's anti-terrorism strategy is helping to create terrorists faster that the military can kill them.