Friday, June 09, 2006

Zarqawi's last words were mumbles to US service personnel

Makes me smile: Bang and a whimper. OK, the latest.

Positive note (with caution) from William Arkin:
Of course it is true al Qaeda in Iraq is not dead, and the insurgency that has grown up in Iraq has become home grown and multi-faceted and persistent. But the active involvement of governments of Iraq and Jordan point to an increasingly authentic common mission: After many years of false starts and a steep American learning curve, what we are witnessing is no longer mere collaboration with American occupiers to hold on to power and make a buck.

Amidst sectarian strife, real Iraqis and Jordanians increasingly see the threat that lawless extremism and terrorism in their midst poses, not just to the rule and control of the elite, not to the grand dream of democracy as some far off goal. Al Qaeda in Iraq and the rampant violence perpetuated by Shi'ite and Sunni criminals and insurgents is a basic threat to the safety, security and stability of actual people and families.
How they did it, in the Los Angeles Times:
An intelligence source, probably a detainee or defector, revealed that the key insurgent target was often accompanied by a religious advisor named Sheik Abdel Rashid Rahman.

U.S. troops, including special operations soldiers, then used intelligence and electronic surveillance to track Rahman for at least six weeks until he led them Wednesday evening to an isolated house near the village of Hibhib, eight miles west of Baqubah.
That was the tip, I guess.

Terrorism scholars in the New York Times:
Farther afield, Mr. Zarqawi had been rapidly building a network that has raised the anxieties of intelligence and law enforcement officials in Europe and elsewhere. This adds more complexity to the situation for those who were trying to cope with the new breed of so-called self-starter terrorists, like those responsible for the bombings in London last year and in Madrid the year before.

According to the federal National Counterterrorism Center, Mr. Zarqawi's operatives are at work in 40 countries and linked with 24 extremist organizations. At a terrorism trial in Germany last fall, a judge declared that "Zarqawi should also be sitting on the defendants' bench." In Afghanistan, local intelligence experts believe that Mr. Zarqawi was responsible for dispatching operatives to increase the violence against the government and NATO forces.
Bloomberg News:
June 9 (Bloomberg) -- The death of terrorist Abu Musab al- Zarqawi in Iraq offers a much-needed boost to President George W. Bush that White House aides hope will help spark a revival in his sinking political fortunes.
Baltimore Sun:
WASHINGTON // The U.S. strike that killed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was a rare and badly needed burst of good news for President Bush, whose popularity has been battered by the war's steady drone of violence and setbacks.

But Bush's uncharacteristically subdued comments on the al-Qaida leader's death - just as the Iraqi prime minister filled key security posts in his new government - reflected a recognition at the White House that the successes could be a fleeting boost amid continuing violence and disorder.
Now, because it is a Friday, Patton (movie):
For over a thousand years, Roman conquerors returning from the wars enjoyed the honor of a triumph - a tumultuous parade. In the procession came trumpeters and musicians and strange animals from the conquered territories, together with carts laden with treasure and captured armaments. The conqueror rode in a triumphal chariot, the dazed prisoners walking in chains before him. Sometimes his children, robed in white, stood with him in the chariot, or rode the trace horses. A slave stood behind the conqueror, holding a golden crown, and whispering in his ear a warning: that all glory is fleeting.
So much remains to be done. It appears that Bush has finally realized this.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"June 9 (Bloomberg) -- The death of terrorist Abu Musab al- Zarqawi in Iraq offers a much-needed boost to President George W. Bush that White House aides hope will help spark a revival in his sinking political fortunes."

spin. spin. SPIN.

11:16 PM  

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