WASHINGTON — US Vice President Joe Biden said Monday that Al-Qaeda had suffered potentially “devastating blows” with the killings of its top leaders in Iraq.

Abu Omar al-Baghdadi and Abu Ayub al-Masri, who had direct links with Osama bin Laden, were killed early on Sunday in a shootout 10 kilometers (six miles) southwest of Tikrit, the home city of executed dictator Saddam Hussein.

“Their deaths are potentially devastating blows to Al-Qaeda Iraq,” Biden, charged by President Barack Obama with managing the US drawdown in Iraq, told reporters.

Hopefully this devastating blow in the Global War On Terror will spell the end for Al-Qaeda in Iraq, an terrorist organization which didn’t exist until we started our Global War On Terror.  I don’t know that there’s any particular reason to think these people can’t be replaced, but I don’t know they can.  Believe me, I’m all for any kind of good news/happy talk which expedites our exit from Iraq.  But it’s worth noting that many of the problems which have made exit planning so tricky are problems of our own creation.  This certainly implies a responsibility to clean up these problems, but the greater responsibility is to stop doing those things which create more.