Did you know that the US and Iraq will shortly conclude “one of the most spectacular victories of the war on terror”?  You wouldn’t if you read American newspapers or watched American television.  The Times of London reports on the approaching end of al-Qaeda in Iraq as the forces of Nouri al-Maliki and the US close the trap on 1,200 AQ terrorists in Mosul:

After being forced from its strongholds in the west and centre of Iraq in the past two years, Al-Qaeda’s dwindling band of fighters has made a defiant “last stand” in the northern city of Mosul.

A huge operation to crush the 1,200 fighters who remained from a terrorist force once estimated at more than 12,000 began on May 10.

Operation Lion’s Roar, in which the Iraqi army combined forces with the Americans’ 3rd Armoured Cavalry Regiment, has already resulted in the death of Abu Khalaf, the Al-Qaeda leader, and the capture of more than 1,000 suspects.

How significant will victory in Mosul be?  The American commander in the region, Gen. Mark Hertling, calls it “the irreversible point”.  It will deprive AQ of an urban base and put them at the mercy of tribal leaders in the countryside.  For the terrorists, that means certain death — which will likely force them to find a way out of Iraq without further incident.

Maliki has declared that the terrorist siege of Baghdad and Iraq has collapsed.  He blamed unnamed foreign nations for funding the terrorist wave against his nation, and hailed the new Iraqi Army for its tenacity against the radicals of all stripes.  While he kept his praise to the Iraqis, the unspoken truth is that the IA could never have survived it without the Bush administration’s shift in strategy and tactics in January 2007, and without George Bush’s tenacity in insisting that we stay and finish the job in Iraq.

And what have we won?  AQ has sustained an unmitigated defeat in Iraq.  They have lost tens of thousands of recruits and fighters, men that would have otherwise volunteered for other missions in which they didn’t have to face the American military.  They have lost their supposedly divine endorsement; why would Allah have called them to action, just to see them destroyed by the infidels?  The sheer bloodthirstiness of their actions in Iraq have exposed them as drug-driven demons, not righteous jihadists.

The Times of London has this right: the victory in Mosul gives the West the most spectacular victory of the war.  Too bad the American media missed it.  (via Instapundit)