Ive got no evidence to back up whats written here. Its just a gut feeling. But it seems difficult that al-Zarqawis body could have survived pretty much intact after being hit by two 500 lb. bombs dropped from coalition air forces. I dont doubt hes actually deadI just wonder if he might have been killed sometime before the raid on Wednesday, and its being announced now to distract attention away from Haditha and make it look like the tide of violence may be turning in Iraq.
al-Zarqawis role in the insurgency was always conflated by Bush and the military. Terror experts generally agree that Al Qaeda in Iraq was one small army among thousands whove been fighting against the American occupation of the country. But most Americans dont understand how factionalized the Iraqi insurgency and Al Qaeda is. In a way, the insurgency and Al Qaeda are like little franchises of terrorism. All have similar goals and are fighting for basically the same things. Its just some may be more local in scope while others are more regional or national. al-Zarqawis significance has been played up by the media, and he became the face of the Iraqi insurgency. So while his role in the insurgency wasnt that big, his name recognition among Americans makes it seem like his death has brought Iraq to a crucial juncture.
Many commentators have warned that al-Zarqawis death will do little to quell the situation in Iraq, and the President has acknowledged that the insurgency will carry on without al-Zarqawi. However, Bush knows that the death of a high profile terrorist will win him big points among his base, if only temporarily. Those big points could translate into better numbers for Republican leaders overall and have an effect on upcoming elections and in how America views the Senate investigations on Haditha. Should the Republican base embrace Bushs Iraq policy again, the Senate investigations may have to be postponed until after the elections.
Maybe Im just too suspicious of Bush and his motives. It would be great to write that al-Zarqawis death will hasten the endeavors to create a peaceful Iraq. But I believe the American people will discover that this terrorists demise will not change this horrid war one iota.