So about that "treasure trove" of documents allegedly found with Zarqawi which proves that the insurgency is on the run, that American military strategy is working, that the Iraqi security forces are developing into a formidable force, and that all in all everything is going America's way.... well, how can I put this?
Let's just say that were I a strategist for a military which had just killed an insurgency leader such as Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and seized a bunch of documents full of actionable intelligence, I might not choose to, you know, release them to the media. On the other hand, had I just killed an insurgency leader such as Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and I wanted to follow up on that operational success by sowing confusion and disarray among his followers (and maybe even scoring some points with the domestic public opinion which my Secretary of Defense has identified as a principle theater of conflict), I might very well release a bunch of "documents" showing that the recently deceased was highly pessimistic about his prospects and that his movement was on the run. (I might also announce that said movement had just declared some random character as its new leader, just to sow more confusion.)
Oh, enough delicacy. These documents seem like a fairly obvious bit of strategic communication, psy-ops, whatever you want to call it. Nothing wrong with that as a way of pressing a temporary advantage against the jihadi wing of the insurgency, spreading confusion, that sort of thing - kind of a textbook move, even. Just as long as nobody serious is silly enough to actually believe any of it. Wouldn't want blowback now, would we?
The one intriguing part of the documents is al-Qaeda's alleged grand plan to foment a war between the United States and Iran. That actually makes sense - it would serve both Zarqawi's anti-Shi'a agenda and bin Laden's "clash of civilizations" agenda. Wouldn't surprise me a bit if that part were accurate enough, even if the documents aren't real. But - and here I enter pure speculation mode - in whose interest would including that bit in the documents be, were we to assume that the documents are not 100% authentic? Let's assume that the drafters think that all other things equal, the US (at least under this administration) is more likely to do the opposite of whatever it thinks al-Qaeda wants (never having heard of Brer Rabbit, I suppose, so that bin Laden telling us to do something is good enough reason to do the opposite... Bin Laden tried to beat Bush, we must vote for him! Bin Laden said we should get out of Iraq, we must stay in!). So documents showing that al-Qaeda wants a war between the US and Iran would make such a war less likely, all other things equal. Just the sort of thing a pro-Iranian Iraqi Shia Prime Minister might want, no?
UPDATE: the Washington Post notes several irregularities in the "document": "The authenticity of the document, which closely echoes accounts of insurgent strategy offered by Iraq's Shiite political leaders, could not be independently verified. It was written in a style different from typical statements issued by al-Qaeda in Iraq, which refer to Shiites as "rejectionists" or "dogs" and to U.S. forces as "crusaders."" There are other reasons for doubts, too. All of which reinforces my suspicion that the document (released and publicized by Shia national security advisor Mouwafak al-Rubaie) was whipped up by the Iraqi Shia-led government for PR purposes.