"Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid" - Ronald Reagan

New York

More to the story than Zarqawi killed

A good look at MNF-I press releases tells a tale of insurgent defeats.

Most notably, Zarqawi was killed on June 7 eight kilometers north of Baqubah when the air strike was launched. Seven of his aides were also killed in the attack.

On June 2, during a raid near Balad, Iraq, Coalition forces killed wanted al-Qaida terrorist Hasayn Ali Muzabir and detained one other. Hasayn Ali Muzabir was a former Iraqi Intelligence officer under the Saddam Hussein regime, and more recently operated as a so-called al-Qaida military emir in the vicinity of Samarra.

Iraqi forces conducted precision, near simultaneous raids on four separate targets in Baghdad early on June 1, killing an insurgent financier. During the raid, Iraqi forces also captured two cell leaders responsible for attacks in at least two Baghdad districts - al Ghazaliyah and al Doura.

A key insurgent leader, Sheikh Ahmed Hussein Dabash Samir al - Batawi, aka Ahmed al-Dabash, was captured May 29, by Iraqi and Coalition forces in the Ameriya neighborhood of Baghdad. Al-Dabash was a major financier and facilitator of terrorism.

In two separate raids on Tuesday (May 23), Iraqi forces caught seven terrorists responsible for improvised explosive device attacks against Iraqi security forces in Baghdad. The first target was a Baghdad Technical University dormitory where terrorists built IEDs. Iraqi forces detained four terrorists there. The second target was an apartment building near the campus. At this building, Iraqi forces detained three cell leaders responsible for emplacing IEDs made in the dormitory.

It will be difficult at best for the insurgents to recover from these series of fatal blows. The commander of Al Qaida in Iraq, the emir of Samarra, two financiers, and five Baghdad cell leaders all killed or captured recently in Iraq will be hard to recover from to say the least. Recently Al Qaida in Iraq moved its base of operations from Anbar province where the Marines conducted search and hold operations to Baghdad in the hopes of blending in the city and attacking the new government directly. This tactic has proved fatal to Al Qaida in Iraq.

One thing many of these successes don't spell out is that these operations were successfully carried out with intelligence from prior raids (noted by timeline above) and more importantly Iraqi citizens delivering information to Iraqi and Coalition forces.

An insurgency needs at least the tacit support of the citizenry. Al Qaida in Iraq no longer enjoys this support as Iraqis now want its duly elected government to take control and secure Iraq.

Not only is Zarqawi dead, but so is Al Qaida in Iraq. Its head has been cut off and several of its vital organ have been damaged (financiers, emirs, and cell leaders). The Iraqi government is getting stronger. Al Qaida in Iraq is growing weaker and weaker.

The end is near - very near for the insurgency in Iraq. With this front winding down, and Coalition forces moving into more areas in Afganistan, Al Qaida will begin to feel more pressure.

Time will only tell where this pressure leads us.