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Bush on Al-Zarqawi

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Text of President Bush's statement in the Rose Garden on Thursday on the death of al-Qaida leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, as transcribed by the White House:


Good morning. Last night in Iraq, United States military forces killed the terrorist al-Zarqawi. At 6:15 p.m. Baghdad time, special operation forces, acting on tips and intelligence from Iraqis, confirmed Zarqawi's location, and delivered justice to the most wanted terrorist in Iraq.


Zarqawi was the operational commander of the terrorist movement in Iraq. He led a campaign of car bombings, assassinations and suicide attacks that has taken the lives of many American forces and thousands of innocent Iraqis. Osama bin Laden called this Jordanian terrorist "the prince of al-Qaida in Iraq." He called on the terrorists around the world to listen to him and obey him. Zarqawi personally beheaded American hostages and other civilians in Iraq. He masterminded the destruction of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad. He was responsible for the assassination of an American diplomat in Jordan, and the bombing of a hotel in Amman.


Through his every action, he sought to defeat America and our coalition partners, and turn Iraq into a safe haven from which al- Qaida could wage its war on free nations. To achieve these ends, he worked to divide Iraqis and incite civil war. And only last week he released an audio tape attacking Iraq's elected leaders, and denouncing those advocating the end of sectarianism.


Now Zarqawi has met his end, and this violent man will never murder again. Iraqis can be justly proud of their new government and its early steps to improve their security. And Americans can be enormously proud of the men and women of our armed forces, who worked tirelessly with their Iraqi counterparts to track down this brutal terrorist and put him out of business.


The operation against Zarqawi was conducted with courage and professionalism by the finest military in the world. Coalition and Iraqi forces persevered through years of near misses and false leads, and they never gave up. Last night their persistence and determination were rewarded. On behalf of all Americans, I congratulate our troops on this remarkable achievement.


Zarqawi is dead, but the difficult and necessary mission in Iraq continues. We can expect the terrorists and insurgents to carry on without him. We can expect the sectarian violence to continue. Yet the ideology of terror has lost one of its most visible and aggressive leaders.


Zarqawi's death is a severe blow to al-Qaida. It's a victory in the global war on terror, and it is an opportunity for Iraq's new government to turn the tide of this struggle. A few minutes ago I spoke to Prime Minister Maliki. I congratulated him on close collaboration between coalition and Iraqi forces that helped make this day possible. Iraq's freely elected Prime Minister is determined to defeat our common enemies and bring security and the rule of law to all its people.


Earlier this morning he announced the completion of his Cabinet appointments, with the naming of a new minister of defense, a new minister of the interior, and a new minister of state for national security. These new ministers are part of a democratic government that represents all Iraqis. They will play a vital role as the Iraqi government addresses its top priorities _ reconciliation and reconstruction and putting an end to the kidnappings and beheadings and suicide bombings that plague the Iraqi people. I assured Prime Minister Maliki that he will have the full support of the United States of America.


On Monday I will meet with my national security team and other key members of my Cabinet at Camp David to discuss the way forward in Iraq. Our top diplomats and military commanders in Iraq will give me an assessment of recent changes in the political and economic and security situation on the ground. On Tuesday, Iraq's new ambassador to the United States will join us, and we will have a teleconference discussion with the prime minister and members of his cabinet. Together we will discuss how to best deploy America's resources in Iraq and achieve our shared goal of an Iraq that can govern itself, defend itself and sustain itself.


We have tough days ahead of us in Iraq that will require the continued patience of the American people. Yet the developments of the last 24 hours give us renewed confidence in the final outcome of this struggle: the defeat of terrorism threats, and a more peaceful world for our children and grandchildren.


May God bless the Iraqi people and may God continue to bless America.

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Today in an interview, Mr. Alrubaii , security advisor, told that there is also Alzarqawee's god father Abdul Rahman Almesry "Egyptian".. Almesry was known for his fatwas to permit killing.


There is also news that the safe haven house is belonging to Baath party local leader hasan Ali who used to live in the city leaving this disbandant house to terrorists..


Iraqis need to keep the momentum by forcing the Maliki plan which encourage people to keep them self away from terrorists and keep pushing on the later ...



I think Almaliki had achieved the peak of support now by all Iraqis, let us invest in that!

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Democracy might be slow but very effective.. That what history told , that what Iraqis proved


Today is a historical day.. Congratulations to all those who stand firm beside Iraqis in their long tough and hard missing to get liberated from Tyrany..


On one Arabic channels , there was an interview with Iraqi security adviser Dr. Alrubaei, the interveiwer asked , is it by chance that all these "good" news come together?

The question was so expresive because Arab media tried their best to convince Arabs that Iraq would never get out of this situation..


Let us wait and see what is next.. I think maliki had a lot to keep the momentum!

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A few days ago I saw a story that said;

" Maliki to release 2,500 prisoners "

I thought this could add "recruits" to the insurgency.

ABout 24 hours ago I heard a story that ;

"600 have been released from prisons"


I wonder........Did the Iraqi government make a deal for information on Zarqawi in exchange for family member of certain tribes being held in prison?



Maybe ?


Maye not but


I find it convienant that tips came in that resulted in credible, reliable information that ended al-Zarqawi's terror reign pf torture on both Sunni and Shia.



I also heard Maliki say that The $25 MILLION bounty on AL-Zarqawi will be paid in full to those supplying the information


Does anybody know what family and tribal area Al-Zarqawi spent his last day alive in?



Somebody sold him out.

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Airdale wrote,


>I also heard Maliki say that The $25 MILLION bounty on AL-Zarqawi will be paid in full to those supplying the information





Today Iraqi security advisor in his reply to same question, told that Iraqi intelegence had already pentrated the inner circle of Zarqawee and this mony need to be an award for Iraqi and Iraqi people who work so hard over thast weeks in tracing zarqawee


I don't know if he was refering to such deals, but I personally doubt it to become as deal of releasing those who are detained.. Almaliki already annoinced a big plan for reconcialation and said in his last newsconfrence that the plan will include diferent parts..one of them is to push on terror , other to encourage those who got involved to free them self.. I think the big meeting that Bush is planning on Monday with Maliki over the tele confrence will specify the most needed help that maliki is in need to accomplish his plan


The way USA officials let this to go to media was part of the great support to the new Iraqi governemnt, first they gave maliki the honor to announce it, some thing that made some radical arab media so upset to make it look like pure American jordaian operation, how ever they failed to explain why was Iraqi police was the first to arrive..



The great relieve by all Iraqis of this was very clear .. Let us keep the momentum!

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I saw this article.

some excerptd


Insider tip-off led to Zarqawi's death

By Middle East correspondent Matt Brown and wires

A tip-off from within Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's circle enabled US forces to "deliver justice" against the most wanted militant in Iraq with two 500 pound bombs.





But the US military also says it has used electronic eavesdropping and spies to monitor Zarqawi's closest associates in an operation that began at the end of 2004




An Egyptian named Abu al-Masri is thought to be the next in line to command the Al Qaeda network in Iraq.


The US military says it has gleaned a large amount of information about the network from a series of 17 raids staged around the same time as the air strike.


Jordanian help


Jordanian officials say they had a role in the hunt for Zarqawi in neighbouring Iraq



After a triple suicide bombing in Amman last year, many Jordanians turned against him, but he still has a hard core of supporters.


In his home town of Zarqa, north of Amman, his relatives have hailed him as a martyr and his neighbours say he was a good man who fought the Americans



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Guest Zarqawi Survived Briefly After A



U.S. Says Zarqawi Survived Briefly After Airstrike




Published: June 10, 2006

BAGHDAD, Iraq, June 9 — Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Jordanian terrorist leader killed in an airstrike on Wednesday, initially survived the bombing and died from his wounds after Iraqi police officers and American soldiers arrived on the scene, American officials said Friday.


The President: Bush Voices Cautious Optimism About Fate of Iraq's Insurgency (June 10, 2006)

The Family: Clan Calls Death of 'Martyr' a Blessing (June 10, 2006)

The Political Loner: New Interior Minister Faces Unenviable Task: Purging His Forces of Militia Members (June 10, 2006) The news came as American forces, trying to sustain the momentum gathered after Mr. Zarqawi's death, raided dozens of suspected hideouts of Al Qaeda across Iraq. The Americans said they detained at least 25 suspects, and a senior Pentagon adviser said documents, cellphones, passports and computers were also seized. But one of the raids, in a village not far from the spot where Mr. Zarqawi was killed, appeared to cause a number of civilian deaths.


The new material provided the Special Operations force charged with tracking terrorists with fresh intelligence to carry out attacks before insurgents can shift their operations, the adviser said. "They're going full blast right now," he said of the force. He was granted anonymity because of the classified nature of Special Operations missions.


Fears that Mr. Zarqawi's followers would mount a spate of attacks led the government to impose a midday ban on vehicular traffic in Baghdad and a nighttime curfew in Baquba. There were few verifiable reports of violence on Friday.


The Mujahedeen Shura, an umbrella insurgent network that includes Mr. Zarqawi's group, Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, claimed to have carried out a number of attacks on American soldiers and on Iraqi officials and security forces. While those attacks could not be verified, the claims, which were posted on jihadi Web sites, demonstrated that insurgent leaders were eager to show that Mr. Zarqawi's death had not put them out of business.


The two 500-pound bombs dropped on the house where Mr. Zarqawi was staying north of Baghdad killed five other people instantly, two men and three women, said Maj. Gen. William Caldwell, the American military spokesman here.


When Iraqi police officers entered the ruins ahead of the American soldiers, they found Mr. Zarqawi badly wounded but still alive. The Iraqis strapped him to a gurney, General Caldwell said.


American soldiers arrived almost immediately thereafter and quickly identified Mr. Zarqawi, the most hunted man in Iraq, by his scars and tattoos, General Caldwell said. Mr. Zarqawi tried to turn away and roll off the stretcher, the general said, and the American soldiers strapped him back on.


Mr. Zarqawi died "almost immediately" after the Americans arrived, General Caldwell said, but not before mumbling a few unintelligible words.


"Zarqawi did in fact survive the airstrike," General Caldwell said. "Zarqawi attempted to sort of turn away off the stretcher. They — everybody — re-secured him back onto the stretcher, but he died almost immediately thereafter from the wounds he had received from the airstrike."


"As far as anybody else," he added, "the report says nobody else survived."


General Caldwell also disputed some news reports that at least one child had been killed in the airstrike.


Mr. Zarqawi, who is believed to be responsible for the killing of thousands of Iraqi civilians, was meeting Wednesday evening with a spiritual adviser in a secluded house near Hibhib, a village about 30 miles north of Baghdad, when American forces struck.


The killing of Mr. Zarqawi boosted the morale of the Iraqis and Americans trying to build a new democratic state here, which Mr. Zarqawi and his followers had worked so hard to destroy.


The Americans hope that by killing the leader of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, they can disrupt or slow the pace of its suicide attacks and assassinations, which have killed thousands of civilians and helped to poison relations between Sunnis and Shiites. Returning to the details of the airstrike, General Caldwell said American soldiers on the scene "went into the process to provide medical care" to Mr. Zarqawi but it was too late. As Mr. Zarqawi lay dying on the stretcher, General Caldwell said, he tried to speak. But no one could make out what he was saying.


General Caldwell said he was not aware of any evidence to suggest that Mr. Zarqawi had died from any cause other than the wounds he received in the bombing. There was nothing he knew of to indicate that Mr. Zarqawi had been shot, the general said.



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From Iraq the Model on the area Zarqawi spent his last day on earth;




Thursday, June 08, 2006



Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has just announced the death of terror leader Abu Musa'ab al-Zarqawi in a joint press conference with Ambassador Khalil Zad.


Al-Maliki explained that Zarqawi (and 7 of his aides) was killed in an air raid in the little town of Hibhib 8 km north of Baquba after receiving tips from residents in the area.

General Casey says more details on the operation will be available in a briefing at 3 pm local time. General Casey mentioned that Zarqawi's identity was confirmed through his fingerprints.











What is Hibhib?



Hibhib is a small town several kilometers to the northwest of Baquba and most of its people are from the Azzawi tribes.

This small town was traditionally nicknamed Um al-Arak as it was famous for producing some of the finest Arak in Iraq, an industry that flourished in the area for the abundance of date palms. It's even said that Hibhib's Arak can make the fox get drunk!



Of course that was before the Salafi Zarqawi tide reached this once peaceful town.

It was quite visible lately that Hibhib became a place for intense terror activity, especially after the phenomenon of severed heads appeared. Severed heads of civilian Iraqis were found twice in fruit boxes in and around Hibhib; a terrible crime that shocked Iraqis.

Also a few days ago 19 passengers, mostly students were murdered in cold blood just north of Hibhib which indicated that a seriously bloody terror cell was in this area.


There had been several reports about Zarqawi fleeing Anbar to Diyala after the tribes in Ramadi turned against al-Qaeda but obviously, Diyala and its suburbs and Iraqi tribes were not willing to endorse the head chopping criminal.







In the first official confirmation, PM al-Maliki said that Jordan has provided intelligence that was used in the raid on Zaraqwi's hiding place but he also stressed that tips from locals were the primary lead to Zarqawi's exact location and these were the information according to which the missiles were guided.


Al-Maliki said that among the 7 killed with Zarqawi were two women who were responsible for collecting intelligence for the al-Qaeda HQ cell.

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Guest Death of a salesman


An Iraqi from inside iraq article


I'm not going to wax conspiracy theories. The man was dangerous, indeed, but his power stemmed from the fact that the Iraqi insurgency needed a public face for their terror campaign to return to power, and Zarqawi, with his

quixotic delusions of crusaders and Zionists under every rock in the Arab world, was more than willing to assume this position. The Iraqi insurgency could easily blame all their atrocities on Zarqawi and the foreign mujahideen, while giving the (false) impression that they are actually a nationalistic force resisting occupation.


The US, on the other hand, also needed a public for its enemy, and in order to lure the Iraqi insurgency into the political process, and not to alienate the Iraqi Sunnis, it had to paint its enemy as mostly a foreign one with limited support from a few radical Iraqis. Zarqawi was all so convenient for the role

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Guest White House Hones a Strategy

White House Hones a Strategy for Post-Zarqawi Era

Brendan Smialowski for The New York Times




Published: June 13, 2006


THURMONT, Md., June 12 — President Bush gathered top aides at Camp David here on Monday to calibrate the best way forward in Iraq during what the administration described as a critical juncture, following the death last week of the most-wanted terrorist in Iraq and the final formation of a unity government there.


The meeting was as much a media event as it was a high-level strategy session, devised to send a message that this is "an important break point for the Iraqi people and for our mission in Iraq from the standpoint of the American people," in the words of the White House counselor, Dan Bartlett.


It came as Republicans began a new effort to use last week's events to turn the war to their political advantage after months of anxiety, and to sharpen attacks against Democrats. On Monday night, the president's top political strategist, Karl Rove, told supporters in New Hampshire that if the Democrats had their way, Iraq would fall to terrorists and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi would not have been killed.


"When it gets tough, and when it gets difficult, they fall back on that party's old pattern of cutting and running," Mr. Rove said at a state Republican Party gathering in Manchester.


Speaking with reporters at the end of the first day of a two-day war summit meeting, Mr. Bush began to shift responsibility for Iraq's future to its new government. "Success in Iraq will depend upon the capacity of the new government to provide for its people — we recognize that," said Mr. Bush, who was flanked by Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and several other cabinet secretaries. The message to the Iraqi government, he said, "is that we stand with you."


Mr. Bush did not address the question of when American troops might begin to come home. But he emphasized efforts to build loyalty to the government of the new prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, something he said could be done in part by creating a fund to help Iraqis share in Iraq's oil revenues.


The proposal represented a new twist on the administration's optimistic prewar projections, which suggested that oil revenues might foot the bill for Iraqi reconstruction.


On Capitol Hill, leading Republicans in the House were preparing for a week of legislative maneuvers meant to portray them as better equipped to fight terrorism and Democrats as blanching in the face of a tough enemy.


Leaders in the House and the Senate have scheduled several debates and votes intended to shore up public support for the war, culminating Thursday with a House vote on a resolution declaring Iraq a central part of "the global war on terror" and criticizing any move to set "an arbitrary date" for the withdrawal of American forces. In a statement, Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, the House majority leader, said the debate and vote would show Americans that "there are clear differences between Republicans and Democrats on how best to confront the global war on terror."


The resolution and debate seemed intended to force Democrats to take a stand on setting a date for the withdrawal of American troops, a divisive issue. Taken together, the steps underscored how Republicans are pouncing on the first positive developments in months in Iraq to reverse a steep slide in support for the war.


The decline in public approval for the war — and a corresponding drop for the president — has emerged as the single biggest cloud over the Republicans' prospects for elections this year.


Democrats countered Monday that the Republicans were playing partisan politics with the war. "Apparently, the American people will still have to wait for a serious debate on Iraq that is aimed at correcting bad policies instead of bad poll numbers," said Representative Rahm Emanuel, an Illinois Democrat.


Democrats were planning to capitalize on displeasure with the war this week with their own maneuvers, like as a proposed amendment by Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts setting a timetable for the withdrawal of most American combat troops from Iraq this year.


Mr. Kerry scoffed at Republican charges that withdrawals were a strategy of "cut and run," which he described as a "simplistic knee-jerk expression used to avoid the realities of war in Iraq."


Even so, Democrats are far from united, and party leaders were consulting across the caucus to seek a consensus position.


"Everyone supports responsible redeployment," said Jim Manley, spokesman for Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the minority leader. "Everyone supports resolving sectarian differences and revitalizing reconstruction efforts. The question is, given the intractable nature of this war, how do we proceed from here?"


In his address on Monday night, Mr. Rove highlighted what Republicans see as Democratic vulnerabilities in calling for a troop withdrawal, specifically skewering Mr. Kerry and Representative John P. Murtha of Pennsylvania, a retired Marine colonel who fought in Vietnam and has become a leading war critic and proponent of redeployment.


"If Murtha had his way, American troops would have been gone by the end of April, and we wouldn't have gotten Zarqawi," Mr. Rove said.


Both sides agree that the politics of Iraq are far from clear. A CBS News opinion poll conducted over the weekend and released Monday suggested that the killing of Mr. Zarqawi had done little to change public perceptions about the war in Iraq, or about Mr. Bush.


Stan Greenberg, a Democratic pollster, said that the latest Republican moves could help galvanize core voters who may be conflicted about the war now, but that the effort "all falls away if sectarian violence continues and Iraq continues to be ground down in a war that has no sign of success."


Representative Christopher Shays, Republican of Connecticut, said in an interview, "The public is going to have a wait-and-see approach."


Administration officials have acknowledged that they have learned from the past, and they were careful again on Monday not to overplay the significance of the killing of Mr. Zarqawi at the risk of having it followed by a new round of mayhem.


Reporters were ushered into the president's meeting to hear a brief fragment of his conversation with the American ambassador in Baghdad, Zalmay Khalilzad. At one point, Mr. Bush said that the killing of Mr. Zarqawi was "not going to end the war."


David E. Sanger reported from Thurmont for this article, and Jim Rutenberg from Washington. Robin Toner and Adam Nagourney contributed reporting from Washington, and Katie Zezima from Manchester, N.H.

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In Arabic.. The Iraqi governemnt leaking a document by Zarqawee highlighing his strategy for work in Iraq..


In his document, Zarqawee think that the best way to fight both Shia and US is to trigger a war between the two.. A war between Iran and US is very helpful , he wrote as this might help the "resistance" got arms during such war and after the fall of the regime. Also a war between Systani's Shia of Iraq and US would weaken both of them. He gave example to all benefits his thugs got as a result of Bremer's fight with Alsader.


It is a long list of recommendations including the call for civil war between all factions. Also he called to implement some personals of his bands to pentrate the Iraqi army and police..



This might high light some developments.. Shia politicians early recongnition of the such plan and their fast act by calling both Iran and US to settel their differences .. Today Alhakim , SRCI's head is in tehran to complete the efforts that Adel AbdulMehdi, Vice president, had already started last week..


I don't think it to be hard to believe that the Almustafa Mosque incident was a result of some such pentration of Sadamists and Qaeda in the new Iraqi Army.. It is a normal practice in baghdad streets to see some Army personals cooperating indirectly with insurgents and may be with terrorists, who knows!

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Guest In Iraq Visit, Bush Seizes on a

In Iraq Visit, Bush Seizes on a Step Forward



Published: June 14, 2006

WASHINGTON, June 13 — In visiting Baghdad on Tuesday, President Bush was trying to deliver a carefully calibrated message to Americans: that Iraq and the administration's strategy there appear to be turning a corner, but troops will not be withdrawn anytime soon.


Slide Show: Surprise Visit to Baghdad Mr. Bush could have spoken with Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki by secure videoconference from Camp David. Instead, he embraced Mr. Maliki both figuratively and literally — at the same time embracing the political reality that Iraq is so central to his presidency that he cannot escape developments there, and must try instead to make the most of any good news.


"I'm impressed by the strength of your character and your desire to succeed," the president told the new prime minister, as the officials he left behind — Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice — watched via remote video link. "And I'm impressed by your strategy."


It was powerful political theater, choreographed by an experienced team that played up the drama and secrecy of the moment, and were rewarded with a day of relatively unfiltered cable news coverage. The trip, including a stealthy nighttime helicopter departure from Camp David, unfolded with the precision of a campaign event, complete with the image of the commander in chief addressing cheering American troops.


But it was also a gamble. For Mr. Bush, the new Iraqi government is a life preserver, evidence of progress toward the goal of establishing democracy in a hostile environment.


Since the killing last week of the jihadist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, polls have shown some tentative signs of a reversal in the slide in public support for the war. Some foreign policy analysts, even those critical of Mr. Bush, see glimmers of hope."It's been a steady drumbeat of disastrous tactical news, so this is a very significant event," said one of those critics, Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey, a retired Army commander, referring to the formation of the new government. "This is the decisive turning point, not whacking Zarqawi."


Yet experience suggests that steps forward with Iraq are often followed by more violence, which in turn erodes any surge in public support for the war.


And the fledgling Baghdad government is both fragile and untested. So the administration is putting all of its diplomatic and bureaucratic muscle behind Mr. Maliki, with the goals of turning things around in Iraq, putting a floor under the president's plummeting job approval ratings and keeping the war from leading to a Republican defeat in Congressional elections in November.


For the White House, Tuesday's visit could not have come at a more opportune time. Mr. Bush's chief political adviser, Karl Rove, learned Monday that he would not be indicted in the C.I.A. leak investigation — news that freed Mr. Rove to go on the offensive against the Democrats, as he did Monday night during a speech in New Hampshire when he derided them for what he called "that party's old pattern of cutting and running."


As Mr. Bush pledged to Iraqis in Baghdad that he would stick by them, Democrats in Washington were debating whether the United States should set a deadline for withdrawing troops, creating precisely the contrast the White House sought to establish.


"There is no stronger statement about American engagement than the president landing on Iraqi soil not only to talk with Iraqi leaders but also to spend time with U.S. troops," said Dan Senor, a former adviser to the American-led coalition in Iraq who is now a crisis management consultant in New York.


Mr. Senor, a supporter of the White House, said no other issue is as critical to the future of Mr. Bush's presidency.


"Working on an immigration reform compromise is important, but at the end of the day, if Iraq is a failure nothing else in the Bush presidency will matter," he said. "The president isn't going to get any credit by having success on other issues, particularly on the domestic front, if in January 2009 he hands a mess to the next president of the United States on Iraq."


In a sense, Mr. Bush went to Iraq with few options. There is little evidence that security is improving, and the president has long said American soldiers will not leave until the Iraqis assume that responsibility. So instead, the White House is turning to a strategy that proved successful in the elections of 2004, insisting Mr. Bush will stay the course while at the same time making Iraq a proxy for the broader national security debate.


"I fully recognize there's people who are concerned about the really short-term history," Mr. Bush told reporters traveling with him on Air Force One. "I'm concerned about the long-term history of what we're doing. I believe what we're doing is necessary and right."


Although three recent national opinion polls suggested that Americans may be more hopeful about the long-term prospect for stability in Iraq since the death of Mr. Zarqawi, Bill McInturff, a Republican pollster, said the reversal in attitudes has been modest and the president has yet to benefit personally.


Kenneth M. Duberstein, a former chief of staff to President Ronald Reagan, said the Baghdad trip proved that the president can "dominate the agenda whenever he wants to" and that Mr. Bush is aware that "Iraq is central, not only to his presidency, but his legacy." He said it was possible for the White House, slowly but steadily, to turn public opinion around, drawing a football analogy to describe how the president might reach that goal.


He cited the strategy of the legendary football coach Woody Hayes, which was not to rely on dramatic Hail Mary passes, but to focus on winning a game bit by bit with what was known as "three yards and cloud of dust."


Mr. Duberstein went on, "What Bush is doing is not Hail Marys, but three yards and a cloud of dust. And he has to earn it every day."


More Articles in Washington »

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Guest A criminal is a martyr !
Amman is the same as I left it last time. An ever expanding bustling city that gives the false impression of modernity and a progressive, enlightened society. Yet, every Jordanian I spoke to thinks that Zarqawi is a martyr. One taxi driver frankly told me that one should not rejoice over Zarqawi's death, for : Americans and Iraqis are happy about it.


Above from Zeyad's latest artticle at healingiraq.com Iraqi blog.. No comment!!

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Guest The State of Iraq

The State of Iraq: An Update



Published: June 16, 2006

AFTER his surprise trip to Baghdad this week, President Bush struck a hopeful tone. "I do think we'll be able to measure progress," he declared at a news conference on Wednesday. "You can measure progress in capacity of Iraqi units ... in megawatts of electricity delivered ... in oil sold on the market .... There's ways to determine whether or not this government's plans are succeeding."

Unfortunately, according to our latest tally of metrics (compiled from a variety of government and news media sources), Iraq has a long way to go. To be successful, the new Iraqi government will have to do things that its predecessors and the United States have generally failed to accomplish.


Violence on the whole is as bad as ever. Sectarian strife is worse than ever. The economy has slowly come back to prewar levels for the most part, but is now treading water. As a result, optimism has waned. According to an International Republican Institute poll conducted in late March, more than 75 percent of Iraqis consider the security environment to be poor and the economy poor or mediocre.


Those looking for signs of promise in Iraq can still find footholds beyond the killing of the terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. The security forces, particularly the Iraqi Army, continue to improve in technical proficiency — even if their interethnic cohesiveness remains suspect. Reductions in consumer subsidies have strengthened the financial standing of the government, and high oil prices compensate for Iraq's anemic production levels. But overall, it is increasingly hard to describe Iraq as a glass half-full.


Nina Kamp and Michael O'Hanlon are, respectively, a senior research assistant and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington. Amy Unikewicz is a graphic designer in South Norwalk, Conn.

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Guest Approval up 5 points from May&#3

Poll: Majority wants Iraq pullout date set


Friday, June 16, 2006; Posted: 7:11 p.m. EDT (23:11 GMT)


WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A majority of Americans -- 53 percent -- favors setting a timetable for U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq, with 47 percent saying the deadline should be in a year or less, according to a CNN poll released Friday.


Among those who favor setting a deadline of a year or less, opinions also are divergent.


The survey found 13 percent of Americans want withdrawal within a few weeks; 15 percent want it in six months; and 19 percent want it in a year.


The poll also showed Americans' approval of the way President Bush is handling the Iraq war was up 5 points from May's poll to 39 percent. His disapproval rating fell 8 points, to 54 percent.


Approval of the way he is handling terrorism is up 2 points from May's poll to 49 percent, while disapproval is down 3 points to 42 percent.


The poll, conducted for CNN by Opinion Research Corp. interviewed 1,017 adults from Wednesday through Thursday.


That was a week after the announcement of the airstrike death of terrorist network leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Iraq.

The poll had a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

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