Zarqawi killed; Iraqi government completed:

From the Washington Post:

"BAGHDAD, June 8 --Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the mastermind behind hundreds of bombings, kidnappings and beheadings in Iraq, was killed early Wednesday by an air strike -north of Baghdad, U.S. and Iraqi officials said Thursday."

(The Post story in full.)

And, the Post also reports:

"BAGHDAD, June 8 -- The Iraqi parliament agreed upon candidates to lead the country's three top security ministries Thursday, ending a weeks-long stalemate among the country's largest political factions.

"The selection of an interior minister, a defense minister and a national security adviser gives Iraq a complete government for the first time since elections in December 2005 and it provides a key opportunity to promote political reconciliation between members of the country's Sunni Muslim minority and the Shiite-dominated government."

(The Post story in full.)

What Does it Mean?

The fight continues. Today's confluence of these two major storylines in Iraq reminds us that the resolution of the Iraq struggle is incredibly complex and multi-faceted.

The death of Zarqawi will not precipitate sanguine predictions that the end of the battle is at hand, as the deaths of Uday and Qusay and the capture of Saddam evinced. We are much more hardened by reality now than we were then.

The progress in the formation of civil government will not elicit buoyant claims that the opposition to a peaceful, pluralistic and self-determining Iraqi state is in its "last throes."

Rumsfeld had it right years ago when he said, "we are in for a long hard slog." Our mission in Iraq has been a long and exhausting journey, and we are clearly no where near the end of our campaign.

What today means is that we are relentless. It means that as long as George Bush is President of the United States terrorists are in mortal danger. As long as George Bush is President of the United States our nation is committed to supporting a transformative government in Iraq.

We cannot say for certain today that the projection of US power is an irresistible force, but we can say for certain that the person of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is not an immovable object.

May God Bless the United States and the people of Iraq.