Across Iraq, news of Zarqawi’s demise was greeted with jubilation:
It’s a great day in Iraq, too, as Iraq’s Parliament confirmed Prime Minister al-Maliki’s last three cabinet nominations:
Abdul Qadir Muhammed Jasim, a Sunni Arab, was confirmed as the new Minister of Defense.
Jawad al-Bolani, a Shiite, was confirmed for the Minister of Interior.
The final position of state minister of national security was put in the hands of Sherwan al-Waily, also a Shiite.
The top positions of defense and interior were filled by former generals, both under the former regime. Neither Jasim nor al-Bolani are said to not have any strong political ties to their respected ethnic parties
PAUL adds: There’s something seriously wrong with any non-terrorist anywhere in the world who isn’t celebrating Zarqawi’s death. The world has become a better place, and Americans are a bit safer too — as we would have been safer if the Clinton administration had taken advantage of one of its opportunities to kill or nab a certain other master terrorist during the late 1990s.
On the other hand, I don’t think Zarqawi’s demise is going to change things in Iraq. It’s unlikely to have any effect on the strife between Sunni and Shiite, and in all likelihood al Qaeda has other leaders in Iraq who can replace Zarqawi. A power struggle may break out among them, but a power struggle may already have broken out (and possibility contributed to Zarqawi’s end).
There may have been a time when Zarqawi played something like an indispensable role in Iraq, but if so that time probably has passed. Progress in Iraq is going to be gradual, and I think it’s overly optimistic to be talking about this being a “tipping point.”