A number of commentators seeking to minimize the accomplishment of killing Abu Zarqawi and to emphasize AZ's minor status as a terrorist leader point to the fact that he seems to have been fingered by some of his al Qaeda colleagues. I'm skeptical. Somebody may have spilled inadvertant information about him under interrogation, but whether he was deliberately "ratted out" is purely speculative.
A more plausible explanation, I think, is that the military has intentionally planted an ambiguous story that allows for the inference that AZ may have been betrayed by al Qaeda insiders. They did this, if they did, in order to create confusion and distrust within the organization on the assumption that if nobody trusts anybody else, al Qaeda will quickly lose its ability to function. Perhaps our military has deliberately planted this little disinformation meme in the media consciousness in hopes it will replicate across the globe and cause a little consternation and paranoia among the al Qaeda cadres.
Another related trope that's been making the rounds is that since AZ wasn't really all that important there's no reason to be particularly relieved that he's gone. Somebody else, we're being told, will soon take his place and the killing will continue.
I'm reminded of a local story from last week when a convicted violent sex offender escaped the custody of a constable and was roaming the county at large for a day or so. A lot of people were nervous and felt relieved when the man was reapprehended. Imagine someone saying when the criminal was caught that people shouldn't feel relief since somebody else will soon take his place and be preying on the weak and innocent again. His words, though perhaps true, would still be at best thought to be a little strange. Just because we'll always have killers among us is no reason not to be relieved when one of them is removed.
And then there's this excerpt from a Washington Times story which makes Rep. Pete Stark (D) look like a real dunce:
Some Democrats, breaking ranks from their leadership, today said the death of terrorist leader Abu Musab Zarqawi in Iraq was a stunt to divert attention from an unpopular and hopeless war.
"This is just to cover Bush's [rear] so he doesn't have to answer" for Iraqi civilians being killed by the U.S. military and his own sagging poll numbers, said Rep. Pete Stark, California Democrat. "Iraq is still a mess -- get out."
Stark apparently thinks Bush possesses the God-like power to orchestrate Zarqawi's demise at a time and place of his choosing, and that he's been waiting to do it at a time when it would afford him maximum political benefit.
This is a standard example of Bush Derangement Syndrome. It has the same psychotic effect on left-wingers as LSD - especially when, as it seems in Stark's case, the two are taken together.