By Pepe Escobar
".......Consider the chain of events of the past few days.
* In a carefully stage-managed piece of theater, Bush visits al-Asad military air base in Anbar (not real Iraq) to stress his "surge" is working. He personally meets Abu Risha.
* Osama bin Laden, looking like a clone of himself with a stick-on beard, releases his first video in almost three years, proving he's alive and kicking. The video may or may be not be a fake.
* Petraeus and US Ambassador in Iraq Ryan Crocker start their presentation in front of Congress, assuring the US and the world the "surge" is a "success".
* Bin Laden releases his second tape in four days, praising one of the September 11, 2001, "martyrs". His image is on freeze-frame; his lips do not move.
*Bush announces he will recommend to the nation what he told Petraeus to recommend to Congress: not a drawdown, but the actual extension of the "surge" until next summer.
*Abu Risha, the man Petraeus relied on for the "success" of the "surge", is killed in Anbar. No wonder Petraeus defined it as "a tragic loss"......
Abu Risha may have also been killed by one of the top Sunni Iraqi-nationalist guerrilla groups for which throwing the occupation out remains the top priority - way beyond fighting the Shi'ite-dominated government in the Green Zone or Shi'ite militias. Al-Qaeda may boast a maximum of 800 or so jihadis in Iraq. The Sunni resistance has more than 100,000 fighters. The White House hurricane of spinning has simply erased the anti-occupation Sunni resistance masses from the ground........"