The things that happen when you're asleep!
U.S. warplanes finally got some co-ordinates on Abu Musab al-Zarqawi that they could use, and now the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq is roadkill — literally.
Dubya has learned from earlier pronouncements about the killing of Saddam Hussein's lovely sons or the capture of the man himself. From the NYT story:
Zarqawi is dead. But the difficult and necessary mission in Iraq continues. We can expect the terrorists and insurgents to carry on without him.”
“We can expect the sectarian violence to continue. Yet the ideology of terror has lost one of its most visible and aggressive leaders.”
Here's Bush's full statement on whitehouse.gov.
And here's an excerpt from an analysis by the Beeb's Paul Reynolds:
The death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is obviously a major success for the new Iraqi government and the US, but it remains to be seen if this marks the beginning of the end of the insurgency.
If it significantly weakens the al-Qaeda structure in Iraq, it could open the way for easier contacts between the government and other insurgents, who are more Iraqi nationalists than Islamists seeking to set up an Islamic state not only in Iraq but across the region.
It might also lead to a lessening of tension between Sunnis and Shias, whom Zarqawi targeted.
The new government, the first constitutional one, will have to seize this opportunity if it is not to suffer the fate of its predecessor administrations, which came to office with hope and left with disappointment.
However, the death of one man does not necessarily bring a breakthrough.