Thursday, June 08, 2006

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi Dead. But Does It Really Mean Anything?

Unfortunately only time will tell. However according to the conservative leaning website Strategy Pages he was, in theory,already dead. Al-Qaeda, the US, the Iraqi's, and Jordan were all gunning for this him. Prophetically this article was posted BEFORE al-Zarqawi's death.

Most people are surprised to here that al-Zarqawi was in Al-Qaeda's crosshairs as well. His violence against fellow Muslims placed him in direct conflict with Al-Qaeda's stated mission of uniting all Muslims against the West.

Zarqawi Scheduled for Martyrdom
June 7, 2006 (link to full article)

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.

The UK Guardian, amongst others, reports that Al-Qaeda in Iraq has released a public statement concerning their leaders death. It is pure spin, spin worthy of ShrubCo actually.

The Guardian (UK)

Al-Qaida in Iraq confirmed the death of its leader in a statement on the internet. It vowed to continue its holy war.

"We want to give you the joyous news of the martyrdom of the mujahed sheik Abu Musab al-Zarqawi," the statement, signed by Abu Abdel-Rahman al-Iraqi, identified as the deputy leader the organisation in Iraq, said.

"The death of our leader is life for us. It will only increase our persistence in continuing holy war so that the word of God will be supreme."

Personally I don't not think al-Zarqawi's death will help lower the amount of violence in Iraq. Although I will not shed a tear if he is dead. The net effect may be that his death places our soldiers in even more peril. With a, self made?, martyr in hand, the main Al-Qaeda leadership may seek to now directly control Al-Zarqawi's forces. These attacks will no longer be sectarian but aimed at their common enemies, the Iraqi government and the US/UK troops on the ground. This may be long hot summer we have been dreading in Iraq.

Okay some linkys:
President Bush's Speach (WaPo)
PM Tony Blair (Guardian UK)

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