Though the American media is slow to report it, U.S. forces are relentlessly destroying Zarqawi's senior leadership. A November 2 air strike killed two senior al Qaeda operatives in Iraq: Abu Zahra, the so-called Emir of Husaybah, ran all insurgent operations in that Iraqi city, and Asadallah, Zarqawi's key recruiter. U.S. forces have now confirmed the identities of both dead terrorists.
On October 23, U.S. forces captured Abu Hassan, the head of al-Zarqawi's media cell. Hassan was responsible for producing video tapes of insurgent attacks to give to al-Jazeera and other television networks. Hassan even produced forged police and press passes to allow insurgents to case targets and film the devastation following insurgent attacks.
Following these air strikes and captures, Zarqawi ordered the Amman attacks. Was it a sign of desperation? Was he trying to regain the initiative from weeks of reverses?
Another sign of desperation: Consider who Zarqawi sent to run the Amman operation, Mrs. Al-Rishawi's husband. He also a member of Zarqawi's inner circle. He is now dead. Why did Zarqawi send a top officer to die? He has already lost so many. It suggests that either he's running short of suicide bombers (typically Saudi recruits) or he's running short of people he trusts. Either way, it's a sign of desperation.
We are experiencing the opening salvoes of only the current round of the perpetual Islamic triumpalist jihad that has raged for more than 1300 years. The passing of one "terror" grouplet on which we have focused our attention is of little consequence. Step back and look at the big picture: the world is dotted with Islamic-Jihadist-inspired conflicts. This is a resurgence of the movement begun by the brigand himself.
The world has been lulled into a false sense of security during an interval of little activity by the world Ummah of Muslims some of whom believe the "religion of peace" propaganda, but they, as "good Muslims," will have to step up to the plate to be counted in the Jihad against the infidel of face hell.
Jihad is not only war and violence; Jihad is outreach, Da'wa. Jihad is commerce - Islamic banking system. Jihad is self-segregation: Muslim-only housing. Jihad is persecution or disrespecting of non-Muslims. Jihad is all of these and more.
The news that the grouplet Al-Qaeda might be desperate and fading away is of little consequence in the face of the big picture and the long view of history. Note that the patterns and trends developed in a long look back at the history of Islam are being duplicated and each will be replicated in the future. It is time that we wise up, get our acts together, and push back.