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Thursday, June 08, 2006


The Death of Zarqawi

posted by Tim Saler at Thursday, June 08, 2006 permalink View blog reactions
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is dead. But the battle to finally and completely defeat the al-Qaeda terrorists in Iraq has only just begun. It is what we do now from this point forward that will determine whether or not we can win this war and leave Iraq a peaceful and secure country.

Read on:

We were able to kill Zarqawi because we received information from within the Iraqi al-Qaeda network and the kingdom of Jordan. National security think tank Stratfor in Austin, Texas, argues that Zarqawi had been given up by Sunni leaders in exchange for a more favorable political arrangement. Stratfor analysts had this to say:

By providing precise intelligence on al-Zarqawi's location, it appears that Iraq's Sunni political leadership has demonstrated the willingness to deliver on a U.S.-brokered deal to solidify the political arrangement in Iraq.

There is no doubt that this could represent the beginning of a turning point in Iraq. If Sunni leaders have decided to break away from even tacit support of the al-Qaeda terrorists in Iraq, then it is possible that genuine political stability in that country is not far away. But what will truly determine whether or not we are able to springboard the killing of Zarqawi into victory in Iraq is what we do next.

Members of Zarqawi's al-Qaeda network have simultaneously prayed for and claimed that there will be anywhere between 1,000 and 200,000 more jihadist leaders to take his place. Similar claims and arguments have been made about killing Osama bin Laden. There is no doubt, however, that there will be attempts made by al-Qaeda in Iraq to find a new leader who will direct terrorist attacks against Iraqi and coalition targets alike. What we must do now is thwart those attacks and beat back the al-Qaeda terrorists with all of our might. There is a very specific and clear reason why we must do so.

If we can prevent the next leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq from being as successful as Zarqawi was, then we can inspire in them a sense of desperation and hopelessness. It is the same principle al-Qaeda in Iraq has attempted to use against the Iraqi people and coalition forces. They have engaged in sustained terrorist attacks against those targets in order to inspire in us a sense of hopelessness, that there is no way we can win. We have, starting today, a unique opportunity to turn the tables, and we should do so immediately.

By preventing the next al-Qaeda leader from being as successful as Zarqawi was, we make Zarqawi irreplaceable. When the terrorists issue their pronouncements that there will be 1,000 or 200,000 more just like Zarqawi, they are hoping that there will be just one more. All they require is one more in order to keep up their attacks and apply pressure to an already tense political and military situation in Iraq. If we come to make al-Qaeda in Iraq feel that it cannot replace Zarqawi, then we have defeated them. Their only capable leader is dead.

I believe that this is the strategy that our military in Iraq must take from here, and I believe that it is the strategy they will take. They understand the importance of this moment, not for its own sake but for what it has the potential to set in motion. The terrorist network is shaken, having been decapitated and its remnants left in disarray. We have them right where we want them. We can prevent their reorganization, and we will destroy those who refuse to lay down their arms. Then, finally, we can go home.


Oh, c'mon now. This war is all a fake, at least I suspect that it is. If western nations need an excuse to excersize modern day imperialism, using the "terrorist" as a scapegoat is the way to go, of course. I'm serious here, and I don't see myself as crazy either. I know how wholly unkosher my views are.


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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.