On the Record

What Should We Make of the Zarqawi News?

Ivo H. Daalder

Listen to Talk of the Nation (June 8, 2006)

NEAL CONAN, host: With us now from his office here in Washington is Ivo Daalder, Senior Fellow on foreign policy studies at the Brookings Institution. Nice to speak with you again.

Mr. IVO DAALDER, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies, Brookings Institution:

Good to be here, Neal.

CONAN: The death of Zarqawi gives President Bush a long awaited, and relatively rare, military success. What effect do you think it’s going to have on public attitudes? We’ve just seen new polls coming out today showing that his policies are at an all-time low.

Mr. DAALDER: Well, of course, those polls were taken before this happened. But I wouldn’t be surprised to see a bit of a bump up in public opinion with regard to Iraq.

But over the long-term, since I don’t think the capture – the killing of Zarqawi is going to have a material impact on what happens in Iraq. I think over the long-term the American public that – which has basically concluded that this war was the wrong war, that it’s not going well and therefore we ought to shift gears – that the American public is going to stick to that line.

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