From today's WaPo story about Bush's irrational optimism vis Iraq:
In one disputed portion of his address, Bush resurrected assertions that Osama bin Laden and his followers have played a central role in the Iraqi conflict. Bush suggested that a backlash among local Sunni Muslims to the group calling itself al-Qaeda in Iraq amounted to "the first large-scale Arab uprising against Osama bin Laden, his grim ideology and his terror network."Of course this is on page two of the story online, but, ever looking for the pony in the pile of manure, I point out that at least it's there. In earlier times, Bush would have been permitted to concatenate any enemies he wanted to, to create whatever impression - usually 'fear' - he wished.
Many terrorism experts say there are few operational contacts between bin Laden's group and its Iraqi namesake, and they note that the group was formed only after the U.S. invasion in March 2003. Al-Qaeda in Iraq is also considered a relatively small player in the constellation of insurgent forces battling U.S. and Iraqi forces, according to military, terrorism and intelligence experts.