This is the personification of the banality of evil. AEI's Frederick Kagan, one of the neo-con architects of Bush's surge policy goes on mouthpiece FNS to cheerlead for his failed strategy and to blandly spin out disinformation and lies to completely confuse the average FOX viewer from Levin's salient points earlier.
Hume: A clear distinction is made by war critics between the operations against al Qaeda--targeted at al Qaeda-and what they describe as getting in the middle of a civil war and that presumably means their efforts to shut down the Shi'ite death squads and the other elements of sectarian violence, purely sectarian violence. What is your view of that distinction? And what percentage of the trouble that's now being noticed in Iraq is being caused by the one or the other?
Kagan: I don't think you can talk about percentages because people are trying to make a false dichotomy here. The reason why we have a civil war in Iraq, the reason why we have sectarian violence is because al Qaeda deliberately set out to create and foment sectarian violence. It was the bombing of the Samarra mosque in 2006, which set off this round of intense sectarian violence, which only began to drop again in January as the surge began. And al Qaeda's still at it. They went after the minarets of the Samarra mosque not that long ago. So al Qaeda, their whole strategy revolves around generating sectarian violence, because that's how they embed themselves in local communities in Iraq. The notion that we could somehow fight al Qaeda without concerning ourselves with sectarian violence completely misunderstands the realities on the ground. This isn't Afghanistan. These guys aren't living in big training camps in the middle of the desert, like they did in Afghanistan. They're mingling with the population and they're using sectarian violence to force the population to support them. If you don't stop that dynamic, then talking about fighting al Qaeda is just nonsensical.
Obviously, since the concept of being in the crossfire of a civil war isn't playing to the masses, the neo-cons need to insert al Qaeda in as much as possible, even though the Iraq Study Group (.pdf) clearly states that al Qaeda is responsible for only a small percentage of the violence, which does NOT include the Samarra mosque bombing, despite Kagan's assertions. Note how earlier he warns against assessing the success of the surge, since it's less than a month old and in this passage says that violence has dropped since the the beginning of the surge, in January. Talk about not understanding the realities on the ground...