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June 08, 2006

Zarqawi - an alternative view.

Or really, a look from a different perspective.

From a mailing list I inhabit, from an intel analyst:

Call it the James J. Angleton in me, and not to look a gift horse too closely in the mouth, al Zarqawi's death is a mixed blessing. I am certainly glad that he has gone to the land of the forty virgins, no mistake about that. al Zarqawi had, I believe, outlived his usefulness, He had outlived his utility and had been attempting to aggrandize his position -- authority over Jordan, etc. Osama bin Laden is the father figure for al Qaeda, He needs not a first born son. The whole concept of al Qaeda is a flat organizations very loosely interrelated, any attempt to create a hierarchy goes against the bin Laden rules. al Zarqawi's death releases all the nascent al Qaeda influenced groups to operate as he envisaged. The danger is still there. Therefore, it would be most interesting to track back the intelligence sources which revealed his movement and position. Small additional point: whether 500 lb. bombs or Hellfire missiles, what has been obliterated is not only the target and his aides, but also, most probably, a set of very valuable records. These would include his penetration both the provincial hierarchies but also the national government, and any relations with other countries.

Big D, in a comment over at Milblogs, offers up this counter:

Considering that he was in relatively one piece when they dragged him out, I'd suggest that they might have pulled some other things of interest when they sifted through the rubble.

Also, the 17 raids that they launched when they no longer needed them as stakeouts for the Z apparently got them a lot, too.

Now, the whole thing about whether AQ was ready for Z to go is another issue; they might not mourn him much either at this point.

I see this portrayed on TV as a victory that may lead to further victories, but IMHO it's the other way around... this is a direct result of the successful negotiation with most of the Sunni parties, who are now handing over some of their bargaining chips, particularly the ones that have outlived their usefulness.

John | Permalink | Comments (2) | Global War on Terror (GWOT)
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