BAGHDAD, June 8 --Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the mastermind behind hundreds of bombings, kidnappings and beheadings in Iraq, was killed Wednesday evening by an airstrike northwest of Baghdad, U.S. and Iraqi officials said Thursday.While this is a good thing will it make any difference?
His killing is the most significant public triumph for the U.S.-led coalition since the 2003 capture of Saddam Hussein, although analysts warned that Zarqawi's killing would not stem the tide of insurgency and violence in Iraq any more than Hussein's capture did.Over at Pacific Views magpie wonders if Al-Zarqawi was turned in by his own people and points to this prediction that he would be killed the day before it happened.
Underscoring that warning, an explosion ripped through a busy outdoor market in Baghdad just a few hours after Zarqawi's killing was announced. The blast, in a predominantly Shiite neighborhood, killed at least 19 people and wounded more than 40, the Associated Press reported.
Zarqawi Scheduled for Martyrdom
June 7, 2006: The relationship between terrorist leader Abu Musab al Zarqawi and and the mainline al Qaeda leadership continues to deteriorate. Zarqawi's recent audio messages have not only attacked the U.S. and the Shia-dominated government in Iraq, but also Iran. He's even claiming that the U.S., Iran, and Shia in general, are in cahoots to destroy Islam. He has also called for continued attacks against Shia.That's right, this was published a day before he was martyred.
Except for his verbal attacks on the U.S. and the Iraqi government, he is almost totally distanced himself from the central leadership. Other al Qaeda leaders have been trying to down play anti-Iranian and anti-Shia rhetoric, and have been strongly discouraging attacks on civilians.
Given that Zarqawi has become a loose cannon and that his actions are handicapping Al Qaeda's efforts, it seems reasonable to expect that an accident may befall him at some point in the near future. If handled right it can be made to look like he went out in a blaze of glory fighting American troops or that he was foully murdered. Either way, al Qaeda gets rid of a problem and gains another "martyr."
The major problem in Iraq is not Al-Zarqawi or even al-Qaeda but violence between various internal Iraqi factions. That combined with the possibility that al-Qaeda may have wanted him out of the way would indicate that his death won't really change things very much. It looks like a win-win for al-Qaeda, they got rid of a lose canon and gained a martyr.
Well this didn't take long, Bush says we have turned another corner. But we are still going around in a circle.
Well the father of the man allegedly beheaded by Al-Zarqawi doesn't feel any better that Al-Zarqawi is dead.
Father of beheaded man blames Bush, not Zarqawi
PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - Michael Berg, whose son Nick was beheaded in Iraq in 2004, said on Thursday he felt no sense of relief at the killing of the al Qaeda leader in Iraq and blamed President Bush for his son's death.
"I don't think that Zarqawi is himself responsible for the killings of hundreds of thousands of people in Iraq," Berg said in a combative television interview with the U.S. Fox News network. "I think George Bush is.
"George Bush is the one that invaded this country, George Bush is the one that destabilized it so that Zarqawi could get in, so that Zarqawi had a need to get in, to defend his region of the country from American invaders."