Hope in Iraq: Three New Ministers and al-Zarqawi Killed

June 7th, 2006 may become a day to remember in Iraq. After years of hunting, military forces were able to pinpoint the location of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the al Qaeda terrorist leader of the Iraqi insurgency for the past three years. According to Gen George Casey, the 39 year old Jordanian was killed in a targeted airstrike at 6:15 pm. The most wanted man in Iraq and Jordan was meeting with other associates in a safe house outside of Baquba. CNN coverage of the joint press conference of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and the U.S. military commander in Iraq, reported the man with a $25,000,000 bounty on his head was killed with his religious adviser and seven other men.

“Tips and intelligence from Iraqi senior leaders from his network led forces to al-Zarqawi and some of his associates who were conducting a meeting approximately eight kilometers north of Baquba when the airstrike was launched,” Casey said. …”all of these operations are the result of a long, painstaking process where tips and intelligence are received, processed and checked out.”

This particular operation had been in the works for a couple of weeks.

Al-Maliki indicated that the strike on al-Zarqawi was the “result of cooperation” with ordinary Iraqis, saying that authorities many times have asked the citizenry to provide information. “We have been able to identify al-Zarqawi by fingerprint verification, facial recognition and known scars.”Casey said.

CNN reports that world reaction to the news is cautious. Regional experts and Iraqi officials are pleased with his removal and still realistic that the terrorist organization remains to regroup and continue their sectarian violence. His family is not sad that he has, in their view, become a martyr and gone to heaven.

The announcement of al-Zarqawi’s death was followed immediately by the Prime Minister’s nomination of three new ministers to the Council of Representatives. Approving all three, the council filled the vacant posts of Interior Minister with a Shiite, a Sunni Minister of Defense, and a Shiite for Minister of State for National Security. The positions have been empty for almost 3 weeks since the rest of the new Cabinet was decided. National and international opinions have expected the stablization of the country to depend heavily on these ministerial appointments being completed.

The timing of the two milestones may give the Iraqi’s a much needed opportunity for gaining ground in the long struggle to rebuild their country. If the insurgency is slowed long enough for the newly completed Cabinet to begin establishing more order and security, progress may become more than the Bush administration’s opinion. It will be a great day in America if Iraqi’s see this combination of events as the turning point to become a nation united against the insurgents. And an even better day for Iraq, to become a country with hope for the future.

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3 Responses to Hope in Iraq: Three New Ministers and al-Zarqawi Killed

  1. janet says:

    Can we bring our troops home now? And how exactly does this make me safer? Seattle’s Homeland Security funds were cut. Terrorists had quite a group going on up there in Canada and yet container ships travel by my house only 100 miles from Canada completely without monitoring or inspection.

    Sure this guy was bad news–a murderer and a thug. But he is not Osama. And nothing changed after we pulled Saddam out of a hole so so what???

  2. Ginny in CO says:

    janet,

    I think the difference in Kerry’s response and W’s speaks volumes. It just isn’t about the country. It’s about the oil and keeping their economy friendly to multi national corporations. I just hope this government is wise to the tactics and don’t let them get away with it. IF they can get out of what is already set up.

    Meanwhile, I would like to make up a list of the current Senators who have not signed on to Kerry’s plan and tell them we will distribute the list far and wide for as long as we live – to hold them accountable for all the dead and wounded from at least this point on. Had we started the redeployment and drawdown three weeks ago this weekend when the PM and cabinet were first established, some of the deaths and injuries since would not have happened.

    The Denver Post had an interview with Colorado State Treasurer Mike Coffman in April. Although he is a Republican, 😉 I think he has some very good, valid insights into the situation there. Coffman voluntered to go back to Iraq last August as a Marine Corps civil affairs officer to help out with the elections. He returned almost two months before the formation of the new government, so his perception on the problems that needed to be overcome makes this scenario of Zarqawi’s death and the cabinet being filled out even more hopeful to me.

    I think the lack of change when Sadam was captured speaks to how close he was to losing control of the country before we went in. Zarqawi is an expendable in the al Qaeda mindset. Powerful but replaceable. Possibly with someone even more effective. That, to me, is the biggest threat they have: the guy who steps in will be worse.

  3. battlebob says:

    This is the world of 4GW. The non-state vs. state wars are difficult because there is no one real leader. It is a bunch of chieftans whose only link is thru their ideals; as warped as they are to us.
    kill one; five more take their place.
    Zargawi is replaceable and to a certain extent so is bin Laden.

    What I find totally absurd is even though bin Laden is no longer a major player (he still mastermined the murder of over 3,000 of us), this administration gives him a free pass. He is still the poster-boy for murder.
    I guess BushInc is hoping for more election-time videos to prop up their election chances.