This is an extremely stupid article - so of course the usual suspects think it is brilliant.
Essentially, Nibras Kazimi's the claim is that there are fewer and fewer Sunni insurgent groups, which is evidence of our success at defeating the insurgency. Of course, he also says that a particular group - the Islamic State of Iraq , which he claims is part of Al Qaeda - is "cannibalizing" these groups.
To be more direct, what this means is that the different insurgent groups are uniting.
Of course, he spins well:
In other words, battling the insurgency now essentially means battling Al Qaeda. This is a major accomplishment.
Of course, if he is correct then the only reason that we are battling Al Qaeda is that we have gotten an increasing number of the insurgents to join Al Qaeda - this is rather like the "broken window fallacy," in that it ignores the growth of Al Qaeda while focusing on the increasing number of Al Qaeda-ites we are killing.
We are also supposed to believe that the insurgency is "running out of steam" and, if Penraker is to be believed, that the increased rate of hostile fatalities over the last four months is due to an Iranian "Tet Offensive." In other words, our enemies are getting desperate.
Please. We've been hearing this since the war started getting hotter back in October and November of 2003.
Our media hid the fact that the Sunni insurgency was being defeated, and pretended it was growing stronger, when in fact something else altogether was happening.
Of course, neither Penraker nor Kazimi offer any real evidence that the insurgency is getting weaker or being defeated, other than alluding to unnamed "sources," and in Penraker's case, going back to the old neocon canard of downplaying Iraqi violence by pretending that it is really Iranian violence.
It is possible that the Sunni insurgency will eventually be defeated by the Shia. But in that case, we will not see the democratic, pluralistic Iraq we dream of, but a Shiite theocracy where the Sunnis are killed or oppressed (and with strong ties to Iran). I don't see that that will be a victory in any strategic sense for the U.S.
Two last points:
(1) Cheney's statement that the insurgency was in its "last throes" was back in May of 2005, more than a year and a half ago. So it is hard to argue that he was correct if it is only running out of steam now (assuming that it really is).
(2) It is a common tactic of the pro-warriors to artificially divide the conflict in Iraq so as to indicate that they were correct:
Oh, are our troops still getting killed? Yes, but by a different insurgency than two years ago, so we really did defeat them, you see, because they aren't the ones attacking us anymore. Oh, and by the way, it's really all coming from Iran and Syria - which we desperately need to attack. The real Iraqis are still joyously dancing a "thank you" dance for us and wondering what they can do to help Texaco and Exxon Mobil, just like we predicted, and love Bush and hate the Democrats and the antiar protestors - so listen to the Iraqis, and listen to us!
The one bit of joy out of this whole mess in Iran is watching the jerkiest of the people who supported this war - and who are still unwilling to admit mistakes - slowly implode as they attempt to justify their positions.
That is all.