The leader of Iraq's banned Baath party, Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, has decided to join efforts by the Iraqi authorities to fight al-Qaeda, one of the party's former top officials, Abu Wisam al-Jashaami, told pan-Arab daily Al Hayat.
Captain's Quarters asks: Has Maliki Ended The Insurgency?
This could be game, set, and match for the Iraq War.
The Weekly Standard says: Baathists "Disown" Al Qaeda
It is in an interesting development in the insurgency since Saddam's Baathists have fought alongside al Qaeda since the beginning of this war. I don't know if this latest development is a result of the "surge" or not. It may be that al-Douri has realized that being on al Qaeda's team is a losing proposition given the success American-led forces have had in routing al Qaeda in places like Anbar.
Gateway Pundit: Bad News For Dems... Baathist Leader Al-Douri Joins Coalition
THIS COULD BE HUGE! Did the Iraqi Baathists just surrender???
But that isn't all the big news from Iraq this week. Let's not forget - With surprise visit, France changes its tack on Iraq. And guess what esle?:
In the European nation most publicly opposed to the Iraq war, media reaction in Paris on both the left and right appears to support new French offers to mediate among Sunni, Shiite, and Kurdish factions – whose strife is paralyzing Iraq's day-to-day governance.
And after the AP admitted it earlier this week, U.S. News & World Report has stated what should now be obvious: Momentum Shifting To GOP In Iraq Debate:
With congressional Democrats still groping for a unified Iraq withdrawal strategy, the eyewitness reports from individual Democratic lawmakers who've recently visited Iraq appear to have changed the dynamic in the debate over the war. The Kansas City Star's "The Buzz," for example, reports Democratic Rep. Brian Baird "saw enough progress on the ground that he will no longer vote for binding withdrawal timelines." Rep. Jerry McNerney "suggested that his trip to Iraq made him more flexible in his search for a bipartisan accord on the war." Also changing his tune is Rep. Tim Mahoney of Florida, who says the troop increase 'has really made a difference and really has gotten al-Qaida on their heels.'" As the Washington Post says this morning, "Democratic leaders in Congress had planned to use August recess to raise the heat on Republicans to break with...Bush on the Iraq war." Instead, "Democrats have been forced to recalibrate their own message in the face of recent positive signs on the security front, increasingly focusing their criticisms on what those military gains have not achieved: reconciliation among Iraq's diverse political factions."
It should also be noted that amid rising support for the surge among Republicans and Democrats alike, President Bush has also gone on the offensive, as the New York Times writes of Bush's speech yesterday that he,
delivered a rousing defense of his Iraq policy on Wednesday, telling a group of veterans that “a free Iraq” is within reach and warning that if Americans succumb to “the allure of retreat,” they will witness death and suffering of the sort not seen since the Vietnam War.
The good news is piling in... just in time for Petraeus' September report.
Update: Okay, Baath Party denies al Douri flippage. Too bad.
Update: Another sign the Democrat's talking points are crumbling - OpenLeft directs netroots fire at conservative Democrats. H/T Instapundit.