Thursday, June 08, 2006

Reuters Looks for the Silver Lining in Zarqawi's Death...

In typical fashion, Reuters is looking for its own "silver lining" relating to the death of Abu Mussab al Zarqawi.
"Arab and Western security analysts were agreed on Thursday that Zarqawi's death in a U.S. air raid would not end the insurgency, even if it represents a rare triumph in Iraq for the Bush administration.

'There will be people that will be mobilized to join the caravan of martyrs, to emulate his example and to honor him,' said Magnus Ranstorp, an al Qaeda expert at the Swedish National Defense College."


More blathering from Reuters, again citing "experts" no one has ever heard of:

CAIRO (Reuters) - The death of Al Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in
Iraq showed deep splits on Thursday between Arabs who see the Iraqi insurgency as resistance to occupation and those who say al Qaeda gives Arabs and Muslims a bad name.

But few ordinary Arabs or analysts expected that the killing of the Jordanian-born militant would have much effect in reducing the level of violence in Iraq.

Some Arab citizens hailed Zarqawi as a hero for his role in the insurgency but others welcomed his death as a form of justice for the civilians killed in bombings by his group, which calls itself al Qaeda in Iraq.

Another view was that the United States, anxious to find a scapegoat for its troubles in Iraq, deliberately demonized him and exaggerated his significance as a militant leader.

Zarqawi was killed on Wednesday night in a U.S. air raid in Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) north of Baghdad.

"He died for the sake of God. After giving so much and having such incredible courage, Abu Musab the lion left us after humiliating the Americans. Pray for his soul," Khaled al-Saleh wrote on the Web site Montada.

"Thank God this wayward infidel is dead," wrote a chatter identified as Azizi on another Web site. "All true believers have been relieved of his evil."

Abdullah, a 29-year-old Saudi secretary, put the third point of view: "I consider Zarqawi as nothing more than propaganda for the Americans. He's just a name, a rumor so that they have somebody to blame everything on."

Arab analysts were also skeptical about some of the high hopes expressed by western leaders including President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Bush said the killing of Zarqawi was a severe blow to al Qaeda and offered a chance for the Iraqi government to "turn the tide" in the struggle against the insurgency.

Mustafa Alani of the Gulf Research Center in Dubai said: "Maybe the bloodshed will decrease in Iraq now. But the problem is that whenever an extremist leader dies, he is replaced by a more radical leader. Zarqawi is a central figure but I believe that the organization will survive."


"It will have some impact on the security situation but it won't be enough. Let's not exaggerate the impact," he added.

Diaa Rashwan, an expert on Islamist groups at the al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Cairo, said the United States had repeatedly exaggerated the probable effect of their occasional successes in Iraq and would do so again.

"Zarqawi in recent times did not represent an important element in violent operations on the ground in Iraq. Other groups which are not extreme, resistance groups not terrorist groups, have grown in strength," he told Reuters.

Several ordinary Arabs expressed strong hostility toward Zarqawi and welcomed his killing. But just as many others said he was a martyr who died fighting for the noble cause of ending the U.S. occupation of a leading Arab and Muslim country.

"We should have no regrets over the killing of a terrorist like him. He was mutilating the image of Islam. Hopefully bin Laden is next," said Lebanese Shi'ite student Sana Abdul-Nabi, referring to al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.