A MORE OPTIMISTIC POST: OK, my last two posts have been pretty downbeat. Some good news -- the weakening of Al Qaeda. Glenn Reynolds links to this ABC news report. The key grafs:
Intelligence sources told ABCNEWS that a recent communication from Osama bin Laden has indicated his displeasure that al Qaeda has failed to exploit the American military campaign in Iraq with terrorist operations against U.S. interests.
U.S. intelligence and counterterrorism officials believe that bin Laden's displeasure may reflect al Qaeda's crippled operational capability.
There is little question that the network has the capacity to conduct low-level operations involving one, or possibly two suicide bombers, but analysts are increasingly dubious that it can commit large scale, coordinated, high-impact attacks that would cause mass casualties such as the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Al Qaeda and its terrorist allies remain a potent threat, but their failure to carry out a successful strike during the U.S.-led military campaign to topple Saddam Hussein has raised questions about their ability to carry out major new attacks....
"I think their credibility is increasingly on the line the longer we go without a successful terrorist strike," said Mark Burgess, director of the Terrorism Project at the Center for Defense Information.
"We know al Qaeda is a patient lot, but I don't know if they can afford to be too patient," he said. "Bin Laden made a lot of noise before the war about defending the Iraqi people, and so far there's nothing to show for it."