Some good news
The arrest by Pakistan of Abu Faraj al-Libbi is the first significant piece of good news we’ve had for a while in the struggle against Al Qaeda. Suspicious soul that I am, I checked on the possibility that his importance was being overstated, but there are plenty of sources (presumably predating his capture, since they go back to 2004), describing him as the Al Qaeda 3rd in command.
As the European struggle with terrorist groups in the 1970s and 1980s showed, terrorists can be beaten. Despite the fact that most of the policies our own leaders have pursued in the last few years have been either bothced (the failure to pursue bin Laden properly in Afghanistan) or actively counterproductive (Iraq), Al Qaeda is still losing ground on most fronts.
The only serious danger is that AQ will get its hands on nuclear weapons, and the most likely sources of such weapons are Pakistan and North Korea . The kid-glove treatment that’s been given to the Musharraf government is understandable in the light of this threat, and the network of jihadist sympathisers inside the Pakistani military and intelligence systems. On the other hand, dealings with North Korea have been botched horribly. Still, I think the odds are in our favour on this.