Remember how MSMers such as Tim Russert recently taunted President Bush for claiming that Al Qaeda is behind much of the violence in Iraq?
Well, this morning comes a report from a certified MSM source lending credence to W's assertion. NBC's Richard Engel, who nobody would confuse with a Bush administration defender and who only yesterday was deploring the execution of Saddam as "primitive and vindictive," appeared on this morning's "Today" to discuss the aftermath of Saddam's death.
Asked host Lester Holt: "Lots of concern that there would be a violent response to the execution from Saddam loyalists, supporters. What has the reaction been so far?"
Engel: "So far that violent response has not materialized. There is a concern that some of saddam's supporters could try and launch a spectacular attack but most of the insurgents who are now attacking American troops in this country are not Saddam supporters at all. They are more militant al Qaeda-type supporters and there is concern they will continue their attacks but that Baathist spike so far hasn't happened."
Granted, Engel identified al Qaeda as a major source of violence against US troops, rather than of sectarian violence. But his statement suggests that al Qaeda is playing a more important role in Iraq than Bush-administration critics would have people believe.
Finkelstein was in Iraq last month. Contact him at email@example.com