War Room - Salon.com:
The Bush administration didn't need to go to war to take out Zarqawi.
In fact, there's evidence that the war actually helped keep Zarqawi alive longer -- and certainly presented him with more easily accessible targets -- than would have been the case if the United States had not invaded Iraq. As NBC News reported back in 2004, U.S. military planners drew up plans to take out Zarqawi three times in 2002 and 2003, but the Bush administration killed the plans each time. Why? Because, military officials told NBC, the Bush administration feared that destroying Zarqawi's terrorist camp in Iraq "could undercut its case for war against Saddam."