Ammam - Iraq's resistance has replaced Jordanian-born Abu Musab al-Zarqawi as political head of the rebels, confining him to a military role, the son of Osama bin Laden's mentor told AFP Sunday in Jordan.
"The Iraqi resistance's high command asked Zarqawi to give up his political role and replaced him with an Iraqi, because of several mistakes he made," said Hudayf Azzam, who claims close contacts with the rebels.
"Zarqawi's role has been limited to military action," said Azzam, whose late father Abdallah Azzam was the mentor of bin Laden, the Al-Qaeda boss.
"Zarqawi bowed to the orders two weeks ago and was replaced by Iraqi national Abdullah bin Rashed al-Baghdadi," Azzam said.
Oh my... wonder if he will still get his pension and virgins??
Azzam, 35, whose father was known as the "prince of mujahedeens", said he regularly receives "credible information on the resistance in Iraq".
He said Zarqawi "made many political mistakes", including "the creation of an independent organisation, Al-Qaeda in Iraq".
"Zarqawi also took the liberty of speaking in the name of the Iraqi people and resistance, a role which belongs only to the Iraqis," Azzam said.
As a result "the resistance command inside and outside Iraq, including imams, criticised him and after long discussions demanded that he be confined to military action", Azzam said.
"Zarqawi pledged not to carry out any more attacks against Iraq's neighbours after having been criticised for these operations which are considered a violation of sharia (Islamic law)," Azzam said.
So what's the penalty for violation of Islamic law? Doesn't death come to mind for killing fellow Muslims?
Guess not... makes me question their fanatical devotion to Islam if they're going to be making exceptions for violators.
But Zarqawi's demotion will conveniently allow the MSM to proudly proclaim the terrorists are no longer terrorists, but Iraqis' civil rebels, protecting their country from the new, evil democracy. They're still wishing for a civil war, those wacky media types.
In the meantime, today brings a story of yet another bombing of a Shi'a mosque in Baghdad, with 40 Iraqi deaths, and three American soldiers. Is this the Zarqawi replacement's first military action in his new gig? If so, the only difference between the two is their country of birth.
But I won't leap to conclusions. No one has taken credit for this latest blast... so it's unknown who is behind the latest blood and destruction of Muslims and mosques in Iraq. But whoever it is, isn't scoring any points with Iraqis.
In the struggle for a new and effective Iraqi government, the Shiite Alliance bloc members are pushing PM Jaafari to step down. Jaafari, critized for his close ties to fanatical cleric, al Sadr, is being fingered as the hold up in uniting the Sunni-Kurds-Shi'a in the new goverment. Sunni and Kurds alike are refusing to serve in the cabinet under him. Another complaint is his lackluster performance in improving Iraq's economy in his first term. Four of the seven Shi'a groups in the Alliance are in favor of him sliding quietly into the night.
Hey... he's had his chance. For the greater good, he should just say bu-bye.
Of course, considering his difficulty with the cabinet, the disgruntled Kurds and Sunni would have to applaud the new cabinet bylaws agreed upon.
[President] Talabani’s office said that a two-thirds cabinet majority would be required for any decisions on the national budget, financial agreements, contracts over 50 million dollars, border issues, security, high-ranking military promotions and questions concerning national sovereignty.
Any issues involving the presence of US-led coalition forces in Iraq would also require a two-thirds cabinet majority.
These changes dilute Shi'a power since decisions would no longer require just a simple majority. Other changes included adding two deputy prime ministers that will work in tandem with the existing PM. How this will affect the troubled Jaafari is yet to be seen. But what is evident is that the construction of the new government is slowly morphing as they discover the flaws... much like this country has done over centuries.