News

    Zarqawi's Death and the Iraqi Insurgency

    Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, al-Qaida in Iraq leader, was killed Wednesday in a U.S. air strike. In recent years, the Jordanian-born Zarqawi came to Iraq to wage a terror campaign in a country already awash in violence. However, Zarqawi and Iraq's various insurgents did not share a common vision.

    In announcing al-Zarqawi's death, President Bush said the terrorist was killed by U.S. Special Operations forces acting on tips and intelligence from Iraqis. Bush said Zarqawi sought to defeat America and its coalition partners and to turn Iraq into a haven where al-Qaida could wage war on free nations.

    President Bush said, "To achieve these ends, he worked to divide Iraqis and incite civil war. Only last week he released an audiotape attacking Iraq's elected leaders and denouncing those advocating the end of sectarianism."

    Zarqawi's deadly legacy includes bombings, assassinations, suicide attacks, kidnappings, and beheadings. He also spread Internet messages calling upon Islamic extremists to join a "jihad," or holy war, which he tried to foment in Iraq.

    Reactions to his death in his hometown of Zarqa, Jordan were mixed.

    "Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and his group claim that the crimes they are doing are related to Islamic values. Actually they are not," said one resident.

    Another resident said Zarqawi's fate rests with God. "We do not know if he was fighting for Islam or his beliefs. If he was fighting for Islam may God let his soul rest in peace,” he said. “If he was not, God will judge him."

    In an attempt to drive a wedge between Iraq's Shia and Sunni communities, Zarqawi, a Sunni Muslim, denounced Shias as "traitors" and "snakes."

    However, Middle East expert Nora Bensahel of the think-tank in Washington, D.C. says Zarqawi was not concerned about Iraq as a nation.

    "Zarqawi didn't have a vision for what a future Iraq should look like that was about Iraq,” Bensahel said. “Iraq was a player in a broader global struggle and that's not something that either the Sunni or the Shia communities inside Iraq see themselves as. They are concerned about the future of their own country."

    Just as he tried to exploit Iraq's sectarian divide, Bensahel says Zarqawi sought to topple the new Iraqi government, which he considered to be an American creation. President Bush said the Iraqi government participated in the hunt for Zarqawi  -- a fact Bensahel says is important.

    "This is something that the new government can really claim as a major success, and it is something which may well unite particularly moderates among Sunni and Shia communities,” she said. “Someone who had come into their country from outside and caused such destruction and such pain is now no longer going to be able to do that anymore.”

    The death of Zarqawi is not expected to quickly decrease the level of violence in Iraq. Former American ambassador to that country, David Newton, says peace is up to the Iraqis themselves.

    "The real issue in Iraq is the question of sectarianism, and whether Iraqi identity can win out in the end over sectarian identities,” he said. “The real question is reducing the Sunni insurgency and also trying to reduce the retaliatory Shia insurgency. That task is really more for the Iraqis than for the Americans."

    President Bush says there are tough days still ahead in Iraq, but he says Zarqawi's death renews confidence that terrorism will be defeated.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese Americans for Trump Going Against National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese Americans for Trump Going Against National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora