Newspapers across America pan Bush’s claims in last nights news conference here, here and here as bunk.

Meanwhile Sheikh Abdul Sattar Abu Risha whose personal vendetta against al Qaeda allowed Bush to spin the Anbar myth that the surge is successful was killed yesterday

Risha – along with his two bodyguards – was killed by a roadside bomb planted near his home in Ramadi, the capital of an Anbar province Petraeus had sworn was “pacified”.

Abu Risha, 37, was the leader of the Anbar Salvation Council, renamed Anbar Awakening – an alliance of about 200 Sunni sheikhs drawn mostly from the Dulaimi tribe and dozens of sub-clans who were fighting against al-Qaeda in the Land of the Two Rivers.

Thanks to Bush incessantly hammering the Al Qaeda brandname in every speech they enjoy the kind of name recognition that couldn’t be bought by the most expensive PR firms on Madison Avenue. What was once cave dwelling extremists are now picking off US allies one by one…. and all our troops are over there when we need them to defend us here.