Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said al-Zarqawi was killed along with seven aides Wednesday evening in a remote area 30 miles northeast of Baghdad in the volatile province of Diyala, just east of the provincial capital of Baqouba, al-Maliki said.Read it here.
This is one of two huge stories out of Iraq. The other is Malaki's completion of his cabinet. Both are hopeful developments. Now let's see how the new situation plays out.
Bush's statement announcing Zarqawi's death hit exactly the right tone, he pointed out that this is a major step forward in a long, long war, that we should be encouraged by it and proud of both our military and the new Iraqi government, but he also made it clear that there is much left to be done. No triumphalism here, just a humble recognition that although much has been accomplished a long, hard, and desperately important task remains before us.
Good job guys!
Joe Lieberman made an excellent point when he said that Zarqawi was not fighting us so much as he was the Iraqi people and their hopes for the future.
Here's a link to the official announcement [from Michelle Malkin].
Pajamamedia has an interview with Omar of Iraq the Model in Baghdad. He describes the mixture of happiness, relief and apprehension now sweeping the capital. [here]
Here is President Bush's statement, from FOX.
Here is Tony Blair's, from CNN.
NRO's Mediablog has a roundup of initial reactions from major news sources [here]. Needless to say the BBC's reportage was the most biased.
And for sheer despicable vitriol, nobody can match the lefty creeps at Daily Kos.
Tomorrow morning the president will deliver his few lines and a smirk. And somehow he will manage to convince the talking heads that this is a turning point (along with Mission Accomplished, Saddam's capture, Falujah, and voting). And all those people who had never heard of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi before FOX interrupted their news about a shark attack will let out a giant "yee haw."Read it here.
Where is Osama? Where are the batillions [sic] of trained Iraqis? Doesn't matter, we got this guy, right? We wrote a 25 million check as a reward, and get a new headline to bump off Haditha.
Iraq the Model says it all:
CONGRATULATIONS TO IRAQ, CONGRATULATIONS TO THE WHOLE WORLD ON THIS VICTORY.
Read it here.
And this from the Bull Moose:
A Triumph for Civilization
Evil has suffered a setback. This is a moment of clarity for civilization. Zarqawi was a moral monster who sought to destroy everything that humane people cherish. And his death is a reminder about the nature of this war.
This is a just war. Our troops are not fighting to gain territory or colonize another people. Rather they are confronting the face of evil. Our forces liberated a nation and toppled one of the worst tyrants of the last century. Much has gone wrong, but we should not apologize for this fight.
Zarqawi understood the stakes in this conflict. Unfortunately, many in the West do not comprehend the nature of this fight. Zarqawi thought that his brazen killing of innocents would weaken our will - and it has. But he knew that if he could force America to retreat in the face of his barbarism - barbarism would have the upper hand.
Of course, Zarqawi's death does not mean that this battle is over - far from it. But, this should be remembered - if we followed the advice of those who suggest we give up and retreat - Zarqawi would not just be alive, he would triumph. And that is a price that humanity cannot afford to pay.
For the past few days, the press has focused on the incident at Haditha. If a few troops violated the rules of war, they should certainly be punished. But, today and tomorrow and the days after that we should repeatedly praise the bravery, courage and professionalism of our soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen who are the liberators of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Yesterday, they removed a moral monster from the face of the earth.
Indeed! A much needed reminder that there are Democrats out there who actually understand what is going on [although it would be nice if they would give some credit to the Commander In Chief, but I expect that would be asking too much].
And, just in case you thought this was good news, Richard Clarke [remember him?] opines to ABC:
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was a vicious killer and the most prominent face of terrorism in Iraq, but his death will not hasten the end of the war in Iraq, according to former White House terror czar Richard Clarke.
"Unfortunately for the loved ones of troops over in Iraq, this is not going to mean a big difference," said Clarke, who is now an ABC News consultant
Read it here.
And scraping the bottom of the barrel, Reuters asks Michael Berg, whose son was personally beheaded by Zarqawi, if he got any satisfaction from the monster's death.
Asked what would give him satisfaction, Berg, an anti-war activist and candidate for U.S. Congress, said, "The end of the war and getting rid of George Bush."Read it here.
And to drive home the point Reuters also reports on a concientious objector who refuses to fight in an "illegal" war. [here]
And profiles Zarqawi as a "street thug" who was "turned into a militant" by the US. [here]