Thursday, June 08, 2006

Al-Zarqawi is dead

The leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq is dead. The newspapers rejoice. Short of finding Bin Laden, this is the best news President Bush has had in a long time.

Except...

Zarqawi was not really a member of Al Qaeda. For that matter, it's unclear to me if the concept of "Al Qaeda" has any meaning anymore, or indeed, if it ever did. (Did you know Bin Laden never used the term until after Sept. 11? I didn't, until I watched "The Power of Nightmares," the incredible 3-hour BBC documentary on the scarily similar rise of Islamic fundamentalist terrorism and . . . neoconservatism.)

Or as Prof. Cole says:

"There is no evidence of operational links between his Salafi Jihadis in Iraq and the real al-Qaeda; it was just a sort of branding that suited everyone, including the US. Official US spokesmen have all along over-estimated his importance. Leaders are significant and not always easily replaced. But Zarqawi has in my view has been less important than local Iraqi leaders and groups. I don't expect the guerrilla war to subside any time soon."

My predictions:

1. Bush's popularity will surge 5-10% points, similar to when we found Saddam.

2. There will be a temporary lull in killings in Iraq. Not a cessation, just a lull, mostly as a result of the newfound authority the Iraqi president will be able to wield.

3. In two weeks, the murder-suicide rate will be close to what it was yesterday, i.e., very bad.

1 Comments:

Anonymous erica said...

I totally wrote this big long thing about bin Ladin and al-Zarqawi making skinny eyes at each other until the U.S. invasion and the irrelevance of the war now that it's old news and the base needs something else to rally around, and my stupid work computer ate it. Weak, dude.

But, really. Flag-burning? Seriously?

11:23 PM  

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