The White House has said that the most dangerous insurgent force in Iraq is no longer al-Qaeda in Iraq, and is now Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi militia.
Could their admission that they are losing the war be any plainer?
Al-Qaeda, of course, has benefitted greatly from the U.S. invasion. The terrorists we claimed this would hurt have instead come flooding in from the outside so they could kill Americans, and regionally they have done a masterful job of recruiting because they have spun the Iraq war as proof that their contention that the U.S. is trying to 'occupy Muslim lands' is true.
But the Mahdi army did not exist at all while Saddam Hussein was running Iraq. Al-Sadr's father, when he spoke out even a little against Saddam, was killed by Saddam's regime.
So we now have a homegrown insurgent group (ironically led by a man and composed of people who were all suppressed under Saddam) becoming even a bigger threat to the U.S. and the stability of the country than al-Qaeda.
As I said, could the admission of failure be any more direct than that?