Its no secret now that things are getting better in Iraq. The fact that most major media outlets have paid little attention to the dramatic reduction in violence across the country is a good indication of just how much better things really are. So what do we owe all of this success to? Well, it seems to be three factors, the first being the well-planned strategy implemented by General David Petraeus, as well as the increase of 30,000 American troops on the ground. The second factor is the heroic actions of the brave Iraqis who have chosen to rise up against Al-Qaeda and extremism. Last year, an awakening council started by Shiekh Sattar Abu Risha routed the insurgency from the Al Anbar province. Similar movements followed suit and in time, Baghdad and the northern provinces were secure.
...and the third factor, as far as I've concluded, is that Al-Qaeda might just be running out of bad guys to kill innocent people.
A couple of days ago, an awakening council ambushed a group of Al-Qaeda in Iraq fighters and killed 35 of them. This sort of occurrence seems to be happening more often. Last month, the Islamic Army in Iraq, a former anti-American insurgent group, carried out its own raids against Al-Qaeda, while joint U.S.-Iraqi operations continue to wipe out dozens of terrorists on a daily basis. Not to mention, Al-Qaeda has got to be low on "martyrdom seekers" willing to blow themselves up, after hundreds of other fanatics have already done so over the years.
Over the weekend there seemed to be a little hint of desperation when Al-Qaeda's #2 man, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, released a video in which he demanded the group's Iraq-based wing purged the insurgency of traitors. Despite Zawahiri's attempt to sympathize with the American people about the antiwar sentiment currently splitting this country apart, it looks like there is a very good chance Al-Qaeda could be in its death throws, as far as Iraq goes at least.
Certainly, we can only hope.