U.S. web site predicted Zarqawi martyrdom before his death

Tuesday, June 13, 2006 at 05:40 PM

The day that Zarqawi's death was made public, I heard Keith Olbermann mention on Countdown that some web site had posted a piece the day before Zarqawi was killed concluding that he had become more of a liability than an asset to the terrorists, and was likely to become a martyr, one way or another.

It took me a while, but I tracked down the web site and the piece.  It's The Strategy Page, which posted this on June 7:

Zarqawi Scheduled for Martyrdom
June 7, 2006:

The relationship between terrorist leader Abu Musab al Zarqawi and and the mainline al Qaeda leadership continues to deteriorate. Zarqawi's recent audio messages have not only attacked the U.S. and the Shia-dominated government in Iraq, but also Iran. He's even claiming that the U.S., Iran, and Shia in general, are in cahoots to destroy Islam. He has also called for continued attacks against Shia.

Except for his verbal attacks on the U.S. and the Iraqi government, he is almost totally distanced himself from the central leadership. Other al Qaeda leaders have been trying to down play anti-Iranian and anti-Shia rhetoric, and have been strongly discouraging attacks on civilians.

Given that Zarqawi has become a loose cannon and that his actions are handicapping Al Qaeda's efforts, it seems reasonable to expect that an accident may befall him at some point in the near future. If handled right it can be made to look like he went out in a blaze of glory fighting American troops or that he was foully murdered. Either way, al Qaeda gets rid of a problem and gains another "martyr."

Put that together with the stories that Zarqawi was fingered by members of his own group.  It's enough to remind me of Catch 22, the movie version, where Milo Minderbinder directs a German attack on the American air base, as part of a deal for the Germans to take some cotton off Milo's hands.

A good coincidence for all involved?  The U.S. gets a badly needed PR and morale boost, Al Qaeda gets rid of a counter-productive nut case and gets another recruiting tool martyr.

I'm not saying this was an overt deal between Al Qaeda and the U.S.  My conspiracy quotient isn't that high.  I'm just saying that you really should take all this talk about Zarqawi's death being such a milestone, turning point, opportunity...with a pretty large grain of salt.