There are reports that members of al-Qaeda have joined the battle in Iraq. I find this completely unsurprising, and I don’t think that it means much of any thing with regard to al-Qaeda links to Iraq in the way that George Bush and Tony Blair would have us believe. al-Qaeda fighters have fought in the southern Philippines, Afghanistan, Somalia, Chechnya, Bosnia, Kosovo, and pretty much anywhere else that Muslims are fighting westerners, or even where Muslims are fighting each other. So I have a hard time seeing this as a smoking gun of any kind.