YWT: "It seems like al Qaeda 101. It's very rudimentary."
JIM CLANCY, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: We must win it. We can win it. The message from George W. Bush.
The U.S. president there in an impassioned plea at Charleston Air Force Base.
I'm Jim Clancy.
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: And I'm Rosemary Church.
You join us as we listen to that speech from U.S. President George W. Bush in South Carolina, in Charleston.
He was making the link there. And I want to go to Michael Ware now, actually, who's in Baghdad. Just want to bring you up to speed here.
Michael, just want to look -- we were listening there to the U.S. president saying that it's indisputable, basically, this link, that the group, al Qaeda in Iraq is a full member of the al Qaeda terrorist network.
Is that indisputable?
MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Oh, there's no question about it. And there's never been a question from the beginning.
I mean, I'm sorry, but perhaps I've been in Iraq too long and I've lost track of the debate in the U.S. and what people know and don't know. But everything President Bush said is patently clear here on the ground. He's made no new claims or produced any fresh evidence.
This has been the way from the beginning. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who created al Qaeda in Iraq, made it very clear from the beginning what his intentions were. And they're precisely what the president has spelled out.
What strikes me is why the president is making a point of this now at this juncture. This is either telling us something about the president's administration, or about the knowledge of the American people, or perhaps both. Because this strikes me as spin, that they need to beat this drum at this point right now.
That al Qaeda in Iraq is a part of the broader al Qaeda network, that it has aspirations beyond Iraq's borders, has never been a question. So I don't know why the president is treating as if it has been.
CHURCH: All right. So pointing out the obvious, he said himself, it's called "al Qaeda in Iraq," and that's exactly what it is. And pointed out, too, that it was established by foreigners not locals.
As you say, though, the big question is, what's this about, then? What's behind this? What do you think are the possibilities here and the timing of this?
WARE: Well, clearly, I think this plays much more into U.S. domestic politics than anything else. I mean, the fact that the original organization, Tawid wa'al Jihad, which then became al Qaeda in Iraq, was former by foreigners, is commanded by foreigners, and whose suicide bombers are mainly foreigners, has long been a matter of established fact.
I mean, I was meeting with some of these people, and more importantly, I was meeting with the Iraqis as they joined these people.
Now, what President Bush is highlighting all of a sudden has long been a source of friction here in Iraq. Many of the Iraqi members have long sought to have more Iraqis in command.
So there's been a concerted effort by Osama bin Laden and others to put more of an Iraqi face on this organization. But that's not for the global community. That's for an Iraqi domestic audience.
So it seems to me that President Bush is laboring a point that has long since been won in the public debate. Again, I'm struggling to understand, subject to American domestic political concerns, why the president is treating this as a revelation. It seems like al Qaeda in Iraq 101. It's very rudimentary.
CHURCH: Interesting. All right.
Michael Ware reporting there from Baghdad.
Thanks so much for that -- Jim.