There seems to be no end to the flow of reports on Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. This legendary rebel has now come to haunt the Americans the way Saddam Hussein did before his overthrow two years ago.
For many Iraqis, the name “Saddam Hussein” has been replaced by “Zarqawi.” The only difference is that while they could easily verify the footage, speeches and sound bites of Saddam, many believe the latter is the product of the U.S. propaganda machine.
Zarqawi must be a superman. He evaded the massive U.S. assault on Falluja and has escaped other battles in which thousands of innocent Iraqis have died.
Almost every day there is a Zarqawi story originating from Iraq. One day he is dead, another he is removed outside the country for treatment.
In one story he is wounded and in other amputated. In one incident he narrowly escapes capture, in another his driver and bodyguards are killed.
Zarqawi-related messages are given wide coverage in international media but there is no authority to verify them.
And in just the past two months 11 senior Zarqawi aides have been arrested, but still there is no trace of Iraq’s most wanted militant.
These reports have added a halo to Zarqawi and have propelled him to stardom.
These reports have made Zarqawi – if truly not a myth – even more important and famous than Osama bin Laden.
There is no doubt that once the name Zarqawi disappears from the Iraqi scene, the forces that helped create him will waste no time in introducing another appellation and soon turn it into a new scourge.
All these reports are part of a calculated campaign to put the legend of Zarqawi to rest one way or another.
But the problem is that the demise of this myth will not solve Iraq’s problems and end the violence.
And another Zarqawi will need to be made because neither the U.S. nor its allies in the government are ready to rectify their deadly errors.