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Agreed, Zarqawi's importance was greatly exaggerated and bolstered by Coalition attention (to include a $25 Million dollar reward). Chasing Zarqawi (and even Bin Laden) is an example of our need for a "face of the enemy." Killing or capturing Zarqawi will not stop violence, it will hardly disrupt it. We are fighting an ideology, and until we focus our targeting on the ideas that Zarqawi and his buddies preach, we will continue to chase chief villain after chief villain.

As a side note, Zarqawi did not run Ansar Al Islam, he was loosely associated with them. In fact, when he joined forces with Ansar Al Islam (Fall 03), many members split off into another organization called Ansar Al Sunna because they didn't like Zarqawi.

Insurgent Iraq, by Lorretta Naploleoni, is a good (albeit biased) book about Zarqawi's past.

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