Lawrence on Wright on al-Qaeda in Iraq
Rhetorically they win either win. US stays, can swarm and bleed. US leaves, they claim victory. But events on ground, they haven't won, and will never win any real territory, but may (at most) be able to launch attacks. Can we get beyond this nonsense that if we leave they will win?
Al Qaeda is in a great public relations situation, whereas if we withdraw, then they can say that they won, and that they defeated the other superpower. And if we stay, then Iraq is still a beacon for disaffected jihadis who want to go join the war. So they are in an enviable position, but really, they haven’t accomplished what they hope to do in Iraq.