Law School Discussion

ZARKOWI dead...another one bites the dust...NEW IRAQ struggles to re-build.

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Zarqawi death gives Iraqi PM major boost
By Mariam Karouny

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Nuri al-Maliki was transformed on Thursday from an embattled prime minister into a confident leader who overcame a deepening political crisis and announced the death of al Qaeda's leader in Iraq.

In less than an hour, Maliki first told the world that Iraq's most wanted militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi had been killed in a U.S. air raid and then rushed to parliament to announce his new interior and defence ministers, ending weeks of wrangling.

Both developments represented major victories for the tough-talking leader, who took office on May 20 on a pledge to end rampant violence but whose effectiveness had been thrown into doubt by infighting within his Shi'ite Alliance.

Earlier this week an Alliance source had predicted Maliki's government could fall within six months, a victim of internal struggles and the violence plaguing Iraq.

But in an early sign of how Zarqawi's death could strengthen Maliki's position, Iraqi journalists attending the news conference applauded and cheered when he made the announcement.

"Maliki has scored the golden goal today," said Dubai-based journalist Fares Bin Huzam, who specialises in al Qaeda, referring to the killing of the Jordanian-born Sunni militant.

PARLIAMENT VICTORY

Shortly after the dramatic announcement broadcast live on Iraqi and international television channels, Maliki won broad parliament backing for his defence and interior ministers.

The two key jobs were left vacant when his grand coalition of Shi'ites and minority Sunnis and Kurds took office because of internal disputes, raising questions whether it could survive.

"It took him a long time to work that out with all the various factions in that country, but it's a momentous step to have achieved that," U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told journalists at a NATO meeting in Brussels.

Iraqi analysts said Maliki's parliamentary victory will strengthen his hand in future struggles with Shi'ite and Sunni politicians.

"It is a strong boost for Maliki's government. Now it will be stronger in taking decisions and defending the political process," political analyst Hazim Naimi said.

Iraq's Shi'ites were the main target of Zarqawi's campaign of bombings and beheadings, but analysts said some Sunnis would also welcome the news, even though the community forms the backbone of the insurgency against U.S. occupation.

Zarqawi often warned Sunnis -- who dominated Iraq under Saddam Hussein -- against joining a U.S.-backed government.

"The Sunni Arabs will be more free now to enter the political process and in running their own affairs since he is gone, and therefore his influence will diminish," Naimi said.

Sunni Arab politician Abdul Hadi al Zubaidi said the death of man who symbolised violence opened up a possible new phase in Iraqi politics.

"It will help him (Maliki) get over the battles he is having within his own bloc and other blocs," Zubaidi said.

But few believe Zarqawi's death will put an end anytime soon to daily killings that seem to spare no one. Separate bomb attacks killed at least 20 people in Baghdad on Thursday.

New Defence Minister Abdel Qader Jassim, a Sunni, and Interior Minister Jawad al-Bolani, a Shi'ite, face a monumental task in trying to restore stability.

Iraq's deputy prime minister, Barham Salih, said Zarqawi's death marked a major setback for the militants but, he added, "this will not be the end of terrorism."


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anyone think this is not a good thing?  let the crybabies respond...

Fidelio

..and in related news 26 people were killed along with 57 injured  in 3 blasts that rocked Baghdad.

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seems as if the us forces and iraqi forces are working together...we should all be proud of the fine work our troops are continuing to do...booyah!

Julie Fern

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putz.