Z Man: RIP
US Officials report Al-Qaida in Iraq's al-Zarqawi killed. Iraq the Model has details.
It will have been a dramatic comedown for a man who on only on March 22, 2006 was acclaimed "the superstar of the international jihad".
Hugh Hewitt: "Five years ago, we did not know what the quality of life for the Iraqis was. But it was a dismal, totalitarian regime, from which escape was not possible. And so while ‘the boom’ matters, and while those conditions are certainly desperate, in many parts of the country, and Baghdad is a dangerous place, compared to what, Mr. Ware? Compared to Baghdad under Saddam? Are you arguing that Iraqis are worse off today than they were four years ago?"
Michael Ware of Time: "Yeah, well, I think if you asked a lot of Iraqis, I think you’d be surprised by what the answer is. A, a lot of them say, what, this is democracy? The joke is, you call this liberation? And, ok, let’s look at the context, as you suggest. Let’s look at the even bigger picture. What is the bigger picture? Who’s winning from this war? Who is benefitting right now? Well, the main winners so far are al-Qaeda, which is stronger than it was before the invasion. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was a nobody. Now he’s the superstar of international jihad. And Iran, Iran essentially has a proxy government in place, a very, very friendly government. Its sphere of influence has expanded and any U.S. diplomat or seeing a military intelligence commander here, will tell you that. So that’s the big picture."
Iraq the Model provides detail
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has just announced the death of terror leader Abu Musa'ab al-Zarqawi in a joint press conference with Ambassador Khalil Zad. Al-Maliki explained that Zarqawi (and 7 of his aides) was killed in a US-Iraqi raid in the little town of Hibhib 8 km north of Baquba after receiving tips from residents in the area. General Casey says more details on the operation will be available in a briefing at 3 pm local time. General Casey mentioned that Zarqawi's identity was confirmed through his fingerprints.
I interviewed Omar at Iraq the Model for Pajamas Media. You can listen to the podcast here.