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Zarqawi is DEAD.

Zarqawi died when US planes dropped two 500lb (230kg) bombs on a site near the city of Baquba. He was identified by fingerprints, tattoos and scars.

The US struck after receiving specific tip-offs from within Zarqawi's organisation, officials said. -- BBC

Within minutes of the announcement of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's death, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki named three key security ministers — military and political breakthroughs in rapid succession that marked the biggest potential turnaround in Iraq in months. -- AP on Yahoo

Afghan President Hamid Karzai says the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the al-Qaeda leader in Iraq, is a "severe blow" to global terrorism.

Mr Karzai said Zarqawi had been responsible for the deaths of thousands of Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan. -- BBC

BAGHDAD — Ordinary Iraqis greeted the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi with relief and elation, but most said it would do little to slow the pace of insurgent violence and sectarian killings.

The news brought joy in Shiite areas of the capital. Iraqi police in the Shiite slum of Sadr City fired weapons in the air and chanted.

Ali Mustafa, a 31-year-old Shiite, said Zarqawi's death filled him with "extreme happiness." -- USA Today

Complete Coverage of Zarqawi's Death

Al-Zarqawi's Biography

Iraqi soldiers hold up their weapons as they celebrate the death of al Qaeda's leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, in Najaf, June 8, 2006.

Iraqi soldiers celebrate the death of al Qaeda's leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, in Kerbala, June 8, 2006.

June 8: Iraqi soldiers celebrate the news that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is dead.

June 8: Iraqi police officers, elderly woman fire guns in the air to celebrate the news that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi death.


Dr. Mathews said...

In other news, Bush's "liberated Iraq" is forging close ties with that "recalcitrant member" of the "axis of evil." According to a post by an expert on the Middle East, the vice president of Iraq said the following on the occasion of a meeting with the Foreign Minister of Iran:

“We believe that Iran-Iraq friendly relations are a matter of strategic importance which would benefit the interests of the two countries and the region . . . Some people are trying to damage the Iran-Iraq ties by enticing sectarian strife, but we will thwart their plans by expanding bilateral economic, political, and cultural relations . . . We view the power of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the benefit of the entire region and accordingly we take steps in enhancing cooperation and ties (with Iran)"

Eagle said...

Yes there has been some unease about interference from Iran, and the fact that Iranian weapons have been found in Iraq. But in other news:

In Baghdad, Bush Pledges Support to Iraqi Leader
BAGHDAD, June 13 -- President Bush told Iraq's prime minister and his cabinet Tuesday that "we'll keep our commitment" not to withdraw troops from the country until the new government is capable of defending itself.

Bush pledges to help Iraq succeed
US President George W Bush has pledged to do "what it takes" to help the new Iraqi government to succeed.

After Iraq Visit, Bush Urges Patience
Just hours after he returned from a surprise visit to Baghdad, President Bush said today that more "sacrifice and patience" would be needed from the American people as United States troops stay in Iraq to support the new government there and to continue to fight the insurgency.

Bush: Iraqis determined to take over from US
WASHINGTON (AFP) - US President George W. Bush said that his latest trip to Baghdad had banished any doubt that
Iraq's new leaders are determined to secure their country, eventually allowing a US withdrawal.

He also laid out, in almost unprecedented detail, new efforts by his administration to buttress efforts by Maliki's government to secure Iraq, revive its economy, heal sectarian divides and root out corruption.

Iraq will be defended from enemies, and be at peace with its neighbors, including Iran.

Dr. Mathews said...

When you mention interference from Iran, whose perspective are you speaking from? I would say you are speaking from the US perspective. You seem to ignore the important relationship that has existed between a significant portion of the Shi'a of Iraq and those of Iran.

According to Middle East expert Juan Cole, As many as 200,000 Iraqi Shiites ended up in political exile in Iran over the course of the 1980s and 1990s. Many of these exiles joined the Iran-based al-Da`wa, which tended to accept Khomeini’s idea of clerical rule. Furthermore, the paramilitary Badr Brigade, which carried out attacks across the Iranian border into Iraq during the Iran-Iraq War, was trained and armed by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, over time grew to become the Badr Corps, consisting of 10,000 fighters by the late 1990s.

In short, my point is that the current Shi'a dominated Iraqi government that George Bush has just heaped praise on sees Iran in a very different light from that of the US president.

However, all of this aside, I would really like to see the supporters of this war and the more general (so-called) global war against terror make a serious attempt to come to terms with theses like that of Robert Dreyfuss in his book The Devil's Game. I am not saying that the argument is airtight or flawless, but I find less convincing the flimsy half-assed denials put forth by the US government with respect to the whole affair.

It raises some extremely disturbing issues that I feel people are conveniently overlooking: Doesn't the US support (whether direct or indirect) for the Arab mujahidin (Usama Bin Laden) against the Soviet Union's presence in Afghanistan seem as a catastrophic mistake when seen in the light of the September 11 terrorist attacks?

I am tired of repeating to everyone I meet that as long as the US continues to pursue the path of "my enemy's enemy is my friend" regardless of his ideology, we might as well resign ourselves to innumerable September 11ths (and disastrous wars) in the future.

Dr. Mathews said...

Zarqawi left behind some interesting documents:

Al-Qaida Sought U.S.-Iran War

"Generally speaking and despite the gloomy present situation, we find that the best solution in order to get out of this crisis is to involve the U.S. forces in waging a war against another country or any hostile groups," the document said ... To give new impetus to the insurgency, they would have to change tactics, it added. "We mean specifically attempting to escalate the tension between America and Iran, ..."

...Sort of gives new meaning to the term brute force, which the US seems intent on employing against Iran.

Eagle said...

The relationship between Iraq and Iran is important, and it has always been said that Iraq should be at peace with its neighbors. There is no doubt that Iran is asserting some influence, but the conspiracy theories about Iran taking over Iraq are unfounded... and with the USA as a friend, Iraq has to fear no enemy.

Juan Cole is capable of presenting some facts, but it is undeniable that he is remarkably pessimistic, defeatist, and extremely liberal. I used to follow his blog, but he has been proven wrong repeatedly, and he actually seems like a morose, pathetic clown. The very end of the article just reinforces that impression.

Speaking of what Zarqawi left behind... they were able to get information from his computer's hard drive? What kind of laptop was that anyway? Two 500-pound bombs hit the house and the hard drive was still readable? That's the kind of laptop I need!

But on a serious note, it's not surprising that al Qaeda would seek to bog the U.S. down in a war with Iran. There is nothing good in al Qaeda's intentions.

Did you notice that the al Qaeda documents refer to their "crisis" and they appear to show that the insurgency is weakening? There is no denying that al Qaeda is being defeated.

"we might as well resign ourselves to innumerable September 11ths (and disastrous wars) in the future." The U.S. is strong enough to lead a sustained and prolonged war against those that seek more 9-11's - and that is what the U.S. is prepared to do.

Concerning the use of brute force against Iran, President Bush has repeatedly stated that diplomacy and aggressive diplomacy would be used, with the option of force remaining "on the table". It seems the most rational way to proceed, doesn't it?

As for all those who are against the "war on terror" - I wonder what they propose? Sitting and waiting? Trying to appease the terrorists, the way that Europe tried to appease Hitler?

Eagle said...

Post-al-Zarqawi raids kill 104 insurgents
BAGHDAD, Iraq - American and Iraqi forces have carried out 452 raids since last week's killing of terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and 104 insurgents were killed during those actions, the U.S. military said Thursday.

Maj. Gen. William Caldwell, a U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad, said the raids were carried out nationwide and led to the discovery of 28 significant arms caches.

He said 255 of the raids were joint operations, while 143 were carried out by Iraqi forces alone. The raids also resulted in the captures of 759 "anti-Iraqi elements."

Dr. Mathews said...

I'm not sure you read me correctly on everything I posted (plus you did not address one of my most salient points altogether).

Nevertheless, there is only one thing I feel the need to address (and which you will undoubtedly find very difficult to swallow): Fighting terrorism is just another pretext, along with WMDs and all the rest, concocted to justify a continued US military presence in the Middle East. The ultimate aim is to control the region. To quote from someone who is NOT left wing:

By effectively controlling the region, the U.S. government would attain several of its cherished ends. First, it would eliminate or greatly diminish the threats posed to Israel by countries such as Syria and Iran. Second, it would control much of the oil and gas extraction and transportation in a region believed to be richly endowed with untapped deposits of those prized fossil fuels. Third, it would butt up against the Russians and the Chinese, excluding them from hegemony or substantial influence in the lands of the Great Game. Fourth (but merely incidental, you should understand), important supporters of the Bush team would make tons of money: Halliburton, Bechtel, Chevron, Unocal, Shell, and the rest of the good old boys, not to mention the arms suppliers and the mercenaries.

A most imperial design, if ever there was one.

Eagle said...

Not the tired old "empire" and "imperial design" argument? Why do people who are opposed to the policy in Iraq have to make up an alternate reality, where nothing is really what it seems, and some dark secret power is really in control taking over the world and fooling everyone?

By the way, the information on the website you linked is riddled with inaccuracies.

The commentary you linked is interesting, but basically it's the same old gloom and doom that typically comes from the left.

The war on terror is "is just another pretext..."? I wonder if the world agrees:

G8 nations vow to cooperate on terrorism
MOSCOW (AP) — The world's richest countries vowed Friday to cooperate more closely on fighting terrorism with a particular focus on terrorist recruitment, cybercrime and the flow of dangerous people and cargo across borders.

Canada unveils new anti-terrorism measures
TORONTO - Canada unveiled on Friday anti-terrorism measures aimed at bolstering security at the country's airports, railway systems and marine ports in the next few months.

India calls for zero tolerance towards terrorism
India today said Asian nations should make a commitment to zero tolerance towards terrorism to maintain peace and security in the continent.

Arab officials approve programs to combat terrorism
TUNIS, Tunisia -- Arab security officials have approved joint security and training programs designed to combat the terrorism that has rocked the Middle East.

Eagle said...

Iraqi Public Rejects Iranian Model

Eagle said...

Picture of a weakened Iraqi insurgency

Dr. Mathews said...

I stand by my previous statement that the GWOT is just another pretext for continued US military presence in the Middle East. I also stand by my imperial design argument.

Contrary to your assertion that people that share my view are just making ...up an alternate reality, where nothing is really what it seems, and some dark secret power is really in control taking over the world and fooling everyone?..., there is no need to make up an alternate reality.

There is plenty of evidence (accessible to anyone) to substantiate my conclusion beginning with the Project for the New American Century. There is no clearer sign of the US's imperial designs than that official document of the Neoconservative movement, which has dominated the Bush presidency:

At present the United States faces no global rival. America’s grand strategy should aim to preserve and extend this advantageous position as far into the future as possible. (...) Preserving the desirable strategic situation in which the United States now finds itself requires a globally preeminent military capability both today and in the future.

If you cannot see that for what it is then you are truly blind. ... Or you have embraced the white man's burden, which wouldn't surprise me at all.

Eagle said...

Iraq tells UN it wants multinational force to stay
Tue Jun 13, 2006
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Iraq has formally notified the U.N. Security Council that it wants the U.S.-led multinational force to remain in place for now as Iraqi troops and police are not yet ready to ensure security on their own.