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Iraq: The death of Zarqawi
by Al-Ahram (reposted)
Thursday Jun 22nd, 2006 4:03 PM
The elimination under US fire of the head of Al-Qaeda in Iraq gives Amin Howeidi* pause to reflect on the motives and methods of two seemingly opposed forces
I don't know much about Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi to offer you additional insight into his life and death. But I would like to discuss the role he played in the current conflict. The man has lived and died in the midst of hardship and turmoil. Even his real name is not one that many remember. Ahmed Fadil Nazzal Al-Khalayla was a member of the Bani Hassan clan, one of Jordan's major tribes. Terror experts called him the joker, for he was a bit of a wild card. I prefer to call him the lame, for he had lost a foot while fighting in Afghanistan. Even in death, he remains controversial. Some see him as a criminal who left a trail of mayhem and destruction wherever he went. Others see him as a freedom fighter. These days, people differ a lot when it comes to making a distinction between terrorists and heroes. Often victims are depicted as culprits and vice versa.

Zarqawi died at 6.15am the morning of Wednesday 7 June in a house in Habhab, close to the town of Baquba. Two F-16s bombed the house, then Iraqi and US troops were sent in to comb the site. Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki announced the news at a press conference attended by George Casey, the commanding general of coalition forces in Iraq, and Zalmay Khalilzad, US ambassador to Baghdad. President Bush also held a news conference in Washington to tell the world that Zarqawi was no more. The US president said he was to discuss the future of US deployment in Iraq via videoconference with the Iraqi prime minister and the US ambassador to Baghdad.

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by Al-Ahram (reposted)
Thursday Jun 22nd, 2006 4:05 PM
Zarqawi may be dead, but public information in America is in worse shape, writes Mohamed Hakki*

If you want to understand anything serious about what goes on in America, especially in its war in Iraq, you're better off not watching American TV. To make the mistake of believing otherwise is to be sucked into interminable hours of nonsensical verbiage from ignorant interviewers without ever learning one scrap of information.

Take the incident of the killing of Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi. All TV networks carried hundreds of hours of discussion with government figures, congressmen and women, pundits and commentators without conveying one iota of useful information. Indeed, even the soundbites were off. After declaring that Zarqawi was killed instantly it was discovered the next day that he stayed alive for as much as 50 minutes following the decimation of his house with two 500- pound bombs, as if to thumb his nose at US forces before departing.

Indian writer A K Gupta, writing for the New York-based Indypendent, observed: "The death of Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi should be of small comfort to the Bush administration. Having cried victory on many previous occasions -- from 'Mission Accomplished', the capture of Saddam Hussein, and the killing of his sons to the 'transfer of power,' the razing of Fallujah and three elections -- the White House struck a more cautious note upon discussing the death of the 'Al-Qaeda in Iraq' leader."