Al Qaeda is the effective sovereign over one third of the territory of the former Iraq, according to the Marine Corps's chief of intelligence in Iraq, Col. Pete Devlin. The report was sent to the Pentagon on August 16, and is described in today's (9-11-06's) Washington Post:
Devlin reports that there are no functioning Iraqi government institutions in Anbar, leaving a vacuum that has been filled by the insurgent group al-Qaeda in Iraq, which has become the province's most significant political force...the report ... describes Anbar as beyond repair ... it concludes that the United States has lost in Anbar.
This, following the report of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, concluding not only that there was never any credible evidence that Sadaam Hussein supported Al Qaeda, but that Hussein in fact opposed it. In defence of the Bush Administration's conduct of the "war on terror," Vice President Cheney explains that this kind of reversal is the result of people talking about it.