HERE'S A puzzle: Why would Al Qaeda choose the past several days, just as Democrats in Congress were voting to run up a white flag and commit the United States to defeat in Iraq, to launch a bloody wave of terrorist atrocities?
For weeks, there had been noticeably less bloodshed and chaos in Iraq's most dangerous areas. The number of civilians murdered in Baghdad, for example, had dropped from 1,222 in December to 954 in January to 494 in February. US military deaths had dropped 20 percent during the first month of General David Petraeus's new counterinsurgency strategy , while the number of suspected terrorists captured had soared tenfold.
Nevertheless, the Democratic leadership in the House and Senate chose to move ahead with legislation requiring the United States to withdraw its troops from Iraq. Of course a US withdrawal is precisely what Al Qaeda wants -- Osama bin Laden has crowed that "the failure of the United States . . . in Iraq will mean defeat in all their wars." Wouldn't it have made more sense, then, for the terrorists to continue lying low, doing nothing that might queer the American retreat? . . .