But he cautioned: "We have tough days ahead of us in Iraq that will require the continuing patience of the American people."
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said al-Zarqawi’s death "will not mean the end of all violence in that country."
He added that it was apt that al-Zarqawi — who had tried to thwart Iraqi elections and formation of a new government — died on the day the new government in Baghdad finalized its cabinet.
Around the time news reports announced al-Zarqawi’s death, two bombs hit a market and a police patrol in Baghdad, killing at least 19 people and wounding more than 40. Police differed on whether the bombs struck shortly before or after the 10:30 a.m. news. Later, a parked car bomb exploded in north Baghdad, killing six people and wounding 15.
Al-Qaida in Iraq vowed to continue its "holy war," according to a statement posted on a Web site.
"We want to give you the joyous news of the martyrdom of the mujahed sheik Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
"The death of our leaders is life for us. It will only increase our persistence in continuing holy war so that the word of God will be supreme." Yahoo
Zarqawi was a bad and deluded man. He is dead. Good. Is it important? Not very much.
We Americans and our Israeli friends are obsessed with our own conception of what the mentality of people different from us ought to be. We can not deal with the reality of completely different and adversarial world views and mind sets. We account for systematic hostility toward adoption of our ways by attributing this "backwardness" to "bogey men" who from sheer evilness and perversity lead their fellows astray. Having done this, we then build them up in our minds and media as "supermen" whose elimination will end resistance to our "program" of "modernity."
Zarqawi was largely the creation of the collective American mind. In fact, he was the leader of less than 10% of the Iraqi insurgents. His people like to blow themselves up on "their way home." Will his pious madmen stop doing that now? We will see. Present thinking is that AQ in Iraq is now overwhelmingly Iraqi in its personnel.
The other 90% of the people in the Iraq insurgent groups are whatever they have always been.
And then there is the "question" of the ongoing sectarian and ethnic civil war in the country. This says nothing to that.
No. The big story today was the approval of Defense and Interior ministers. Will they prove to be "up to" the task of creating the forces that will hold the country together?
Time is running out. Let us see if violence diminishes.