Why does the AP suggest that Al Qaeda's rebuilt operational capacity "could bolster the president's hand at a moment when support on Capitol Hill for the war is eroding and the administration is struggling to defend its decision for a military buildup in Iraq"? The report is titled "Al-Qaida better positioned to strike the West" and seems to concern Al Qaeda the terrorist group, not the insurgent faction known as Al Qaeda in Iraq. And given that Bush's approval is at 27.7% and 62% of Americans now think that the invasion was a mistake, I'm not sure anything is going to strengthen the President's hand.
(PS I'm in DC doing interviews for my dissertation research before heading up to Massachusetts on Friday, so I may not get a chance to post again before the weekend. In the meantime, don't miss the lively debates in comments about "Sicko" and increasing the gas tax.)