Leaving aside for a moment the credibility of the document, doesn't the assertion that al-Qaeda is planning for a post-American Iraq kind of clash with the idea that the insurgency is on the run, dwindling -- in its "last throes" -- as the administration would have us believe?
- The centrality of the war in Iraq for the global jihad.
- From al Qa'ida's point of view, the war does not end with an American departure.
- An acknowledgment of the appeal of democracy to the Iraqis.
- The strategic vision of inevitable conflict, with a tacit recognition of current political dynamics in Iraq; with a call by al-Zawahiri for political action equal to military action.
- The need to maintain popular support at least until jihadist rule has been established.
- Admission that more than half the struggle is taking place "in the battlefield of the media."
I mean, really, are we supposed to buy into the idea that while we're on the verge of utterly obliterating the terrorists in Iraq, they're sending memos back and forth on how best to establish a new emirate or caliphate in Iraq?