First, from an al-Jazeera interview with al-Dhari (worth reading):
"Yes, we can say the security situation has slightly improved. The reason for that lies in the fact that George Bush needs to present some sort of success to his people, and it is the same with the current Iraqi government. Both have realised that the tense situation in
would do them no good. Hence, the Iraqi government ordered its death squads to halt their attacks on people. That's all." Iraq
Al-Dhari actually finds a way to blame the Americans and the IG for the actions of rogue insurgents who have penetrated the Iraqi Police. The American effort doesn't have any interest in high levels of violence, and it defies logic to suggest that it was intentionally keeping Iraq violent. Al-Dhari also blames the Americans for the marginalization of Sunnis by intentionally minimizing their representation within the IG, but he knows that to make that argument, the predominately Sunni Awakening movement has to be derided. So he jumps right on that one, too:
"The al-Sahwa phenomenon has been presented to the people as "tribal forces fighting al-Qaeda". But as they are US-funded, the tribesmen have been instructed to fight the Iraqi resistance as well. That is why resistance attacks against US forces have eased a bit."
You may be starting to see a pattern here: according to the insurgent narrative, Americans are incapable of doing anything right. We're marginalizing Sunnis, yet we've embraced their most powerful political movement in Iraqi history by co-opting the Awakening. We're the cause of the violence because we're running death squads, yet at the same time we're forcing the Awakening to crack down on "resistance" fighters, who are famed for their death-squad activities. Take that, M. Night Shyamalan.
It's hard to imagine a more heavily twisted story. That is, until Ayman al-Zawahiri decided to join the chorus:
"The American forces are defeated and looking for a way out. Their government is faced with an incredible popular demand to withdraw," he said, adding that the U.S. forces would abandon Iraqi troops "to their fate."
He may be talking about the British withdrawal from Basra, yet I would think that he knows the difference between the two. In all likelihood, he's priming the pump for when the American post-surge troop reductions begin. We knew this was going to happen. We also know that he's lying, but backing it with a scrap of truth.
If I remember correctly, the phrase "the Americans are defeated" has basically never been accurate any time it was uttered in Iraq. Saddam's Defense Minister comes directly to mind. But all that is beside the point: this is, for whatever reason, a set of stories that these two moguls think they can get away with, and in all probability, some poor folks in Iraq will be fooled by this nonsense because information doesn't travel as quickly or as frequently in Iraq. That's fine.
It's fine, because it doesn't change our approach to the situation. This house of cards that the insurgents' supporters and superiors have constructed will collapse in the presence of continued progress, and the Generals in charge know it. We can expect that as the insurgents continue to lose the kinetic battles and lose popular support, their claims will get more outrageous and devious until they cause about as much trouble as 9/11 Truthers in the States. Since they aren't regarded as authority, they aren't going to be asked to substantiate those claims. Yet at the same time, continued progress means being able to constantly refute those claims to keep the Iraqi people well-informed.
But all that is still a little ways out. For now, let them have their campfire stories; the sunrise isn't far off.