Understanding Zarqawi's demise.

A summary of what's in the major U.S. newspapers.
June 9 2006 4:15 AM

Better Off'd

(Continued from Page 1)

A few minutes after Zarqawi's death was announced, Iraq's Parliament named aSunni and two Shiites to fill the much-fought-over top three security posts. The new interior minister is a Shiite but, unlike his predecessor, isn't affiliated with a militia. And in what might be evidence of a changing dynamic, the NYT mentions that the new defense minister—a Sunni and former military officer—had been considered a no-go just last week.

In a Post op-ed, Prime Minister Maliki lays out his agenda and says he'll push to disarm militias. He doesn't mention another key Sunni demand: stop de-Baathification.

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Everybody mentions that an Israeli airstrike killed a top security official in the Hamas-led government. Israel said it was targeting a terrorist camp and not the official directly. Whatever the case, the WP says he was the "most senior Palestinian guerrilla" killed "in years."

For the second day in a row, Senate Republican leaders tried to go with an oldie-but-a-goodie and were shot down. This time it was a—so far, failed—bid to repeal the estate tax.

Those classy gold frames around the Zarqawi death photos were pretty weird. Weirder still: The Post spent 1,000 words pondering them.

Care for a tinfoil hat? From far down in the Post:

Police and witnesses at the scene told a Washington Post special correspondent that Zarqawi was only wounded in the attack and was whisked away by U.S. forces, dying in their custody. [A military spokesman] said he was killed instantly.

Eric Umansky, previously the "Today's Papers" columnist for Slate, is currently a Gordon Grey Fellow at Columbia University's School of Journalism.

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