June 8, 2006


Zarqawi's death not expected to have major impact on Iraq (Tom Lasseter, 6/8/06, Knight Ridder)

The killing of terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was a stunning victory for U.S. forces, but Iraq remains a nation beset by deeply rooted problems that threaten to push it deeper into chaos. There are few expectations that Zarqawi's death will change that.

Analysis: Bush Tempered by Zarqawi News (Terence Hunt, 6/8/06, AP)

There were no "Mission Accomplished" banners or joyous celebrations at the White House. Feelings of satisfaction about killing Iraq's most wanted terrorist were tempered by the certainty of more death and bad days in a war increasingly unpopular at home.

Zarqawi found, but bin Laden still eludes US (Will Dunham, 6/8/06, Reuters)

U.S. forces have succeeded in finding key fugitives in Iraq -- Abu Musab al-Zarqawi being the latest -- but face bigger obstacles in catching al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, former Taliban chief Mullah Omar and other wanted men.

Iraqis meet Zarqawi's death with joy, fear (Ibon Villelabeitia, 6/8/06, Reuters)

[...] Dya'a Hassan, a 25-year old worker from Ramadi, capital of the Sunni rebel stronghold of Anbar province, said the death of Zarqawi was a blow to the resistance against invaders.

"I think Zarqawi's death is a big loss for Iraq because he made the Americans bow to the ground. The Americans lost many troops because of Zarqawi and his followers," he said.

In Baghdad, Ahmed Jabbar said in the central commercial district that Zarqawi's death would have little effect other than giving a boost to [Prime Minister] Maliki, who took office on May 20.

Hatred He Bred Is Sure to Survive Terrorist Death (Dexter Filkins, 6/8/06, New York Times)

[...]The question now is how large a blow his death deals to the guerrilla movement he drove to such bloody extremes.

The likely answer, according to American and Iraqi officials and experts who have been following Mr. Zarqawi, is this: While his death could erode the ability of his group, Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, to carry out suicide and car bomb attacks — and possibly set off a violent struggle to succeed him — the insurgency and the sectarian war he helped ignite will go on without him.

Father of beheaded man blames Bush, not Zarqawi (Jon Hurdle, 6/8/06, Reuters)

Michael Berg, whose son Nick was beheaded in Iraq in 2004, said on Thursday he felt no sense of relief at the killing of the al Qaeda leader in Iraq and blamed President Bush for his son's death.

Asked what would give him satisfaction, Berg, an anti-war activist and candidate for U.S. Congress, said, "The end of the war and getting rid of George Bush."

Zarqawi Killing Great, but Pull Troops, Say Kerry, Murtha (6/8/06, Nathan Burchfiel, Cybercast News Service)

As President Bush and Iraqi leaders on Thursday welcomed the announcement that coalition forces had killed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, some in the anti-war community used the development to call for troop withdrawals while others downplayed its significance.

2 Brothers, 2 Views on Al-Zarqawi Death (Danica Kirka, 6/8/06, AP)

Two men worlds apart illustrate the divide in global opinions about the death of al-Qaida in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Around the world, praise after al-Zarqawi's death and warning of more violence (Danica Kirka, 6/8/06, AP)

Islamic militants and world governments warned today that violence would continue in Iraq and around the globe despite the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was killed by a U.S. airstrike.

Democrats call Zarqawi killing a stunt (Amy Fagan, 6/8/06, Washington Times)

Some Democrats, breaking ranks from their leadership, today said the death of terrorist leader Abu Musab Zarqawi in Iraq was a stunt to divert attention from an unpopular and hopeless war. "This is just to cover Bush's [rear] so he doesn't have to answer" for Iraqi civilians being killed by the U.S. military and his own sagging poll numbers, said Rep. Pete Stark, California Democrat. "Iraq is still a mess -- get out."

Greenfield: A cautionary note: Al-Zarqawi's death is good news, but Iraq's problems will persist (Jeff Greenfield, 6/8/06, CNN)

The death of a man who celebrated indiscriminate killing, and who claimed to have personally beheaded American captive Nicholas Berg, can certainly be seen as unalloyed good news. But if you look at the news of the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the most sought after terrorist in Iraq, through the prism of domestic politics, here's a cautionary note.

Dead, And Loving It: Newspaper Sites Feature Graphic Zarqawi Images (6/8/06, Editor & Publisher)

Many top newspaper Web sites which, like their print cousins, rarely show close-up photos of dead U.S. soldiers or civilians in Iraq, made a major exception today, in highlighting graphic images of deceased terrorist leader Musab Abu al-Zarqawi.

U.S. Shows Photos of Battered Al-Zarqawi (Patrick Quinn and Kim Gamel, 6/8/06, AP)

The U.S. military displayed images of the battered face of Iraq's most feared terrorist Thursday and Iraqis celebrated with gunfire after American bombs killed the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq. It was a long-sought victory for U.S. forces, but officials cautioned of violence ahead - and a string of blasts proved that prediction almost immediately.

Poll: U.S. disapproves of war in Iraq (6/8/06, AP)

The death of al-Qaida leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Iraq came as more Americans than ever thought the war in Iraq was a mistake, according to AP-Ipsos polling.
Posted by Matt Murphy at June 8, 2006 7:28 PM

Tree. Rope. Journalist. Etc.

Posted by: ghostcat at June 8, 2006 9:58 PM

Its pretty clear those writers have been hurt by this action. Definitely a blow to their side of the WoT because it helps Bush & Company.

What we need now is OBLs skeleton to be unearthed in Tora Bora to give them a total breakdown.

Posted by: Tom Wall at June 8, 2006 10:00 PM

PS: The nomination and rapid confirmation of the Defense Minister (a Sunni) and the Interior Minister (a Shia) was the most under-reported Iraq story of the day.

Posted by: ghostcat at June 8, 2006 10:11 PM

Ghostcat - and there are reports that the Iraqi army has taken over responsibility from the US for the Anbar province.

US troops coming home before the election now looks more probable.

Posted by: AWW at June 8, 2006 11:20 PM

Will any Democrats repudiate the statements of Pete Stark (D-CA), who called Zarqawi's death a stunt designed to distract America from Bush's failures, or Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), who said Zarqawi was a small-time player and that we need to leave Iraq immediately?


I guess not.

Posted by: jim hamlen at June 9, 2006 2:01 AM

Dem's reaction to the Zarqawi killing, along with 98% of them opposing the Estate Tax repeal, should help the GOP in the fall.

Posted by: AWW at June 9, 2006 8:28 AM

The sound of toadies..

ya-but, ya-but, ya-but

Posted by: Chris B at June 9, 2006 8:51 AM

Today's headline in the Charlotte Observer:

"Terror chief dead, but threat lives on"

Perhaps this refers to the decline in the fortunes of the media. Or to the feeling the people at the paper have when they listen to local talk radio (which despises the Oberver).

Wouldn't it have been easier just to say - "Zarqawi killed in US strike"?

Reminds me of the Observer headline right before Gore conceded - "Court to rule, Scalia hints it's over".

Posted by: jim hamlen at June 9, 2006 10:21 AM

He shot at the strong and he slashed at the weak,
From the Salween scrub to the Chindwin teak:
He crucified noble, he sacrificed mean,
He filled old ladies with kerosene:
While over the water the papers cried,
The patriot fights for his countryside!

Rudyard Kipling, "The Ballad of Bo Da Thone"
(hat tip: one of the commenters at Tim Blair's blog)

Posted by: Mike Morley at June 9, 2006 11:10 AM

Kudos for the headline. It's hilarious!

Posted by: Robert Duquette at June 9, 2006 12:51 PM


Huzzah on the mention at OpinionJournal!

Posted by: jim hamlen at June 9, 2006 4:08 PM

jim hamlen:

I sent it to Mr. Taranto because I figured maybe one or two of the links might be of interest to him -- I was thinking he'd print my name at the bottom or something. Instead he mentioned my name in the main text and labeled me a "blogger." I guess I'd better get used to thinking of myself that way.

He made a small error: The last example (from the Chicago Tribune) isn't mine, while the earlier example (from Reuters) is. But I'm not complaining.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 9, 2006 4:40 PM