ZenPundit
Friday, June 09, 2006
 
ZARQAWI'S DEATH

A few brief comments about the death of al Qaida terrorist leader and loose cannon Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

First, let me congratulate the military personnel in Iraq, at CENTCOM, in the IC who worked long and hard on this difficult operation. You pulled off a genuine coup for which you have not gotten adequate thanks or credit in the media or the blogosphere. Fantastic work !

And yes, the Bush administration deserves credit as well.

Secondly, the unseemly rush among pundits, partisans, cynics, politicians like Representative Pete Stark (D-Cal.) and carpet-chewing, mentally unbalanced, haters of the Bush administration to screech how Zarqawi's death is irrelevant, a political stunt or a hoax is revolting as well as stupid. Yes, Zarqawi will be replaced. Admiral Yamamoto was replaced as a commander by the Japanese Imperial War Cabinet when we shot his plane out of the sky, but his death was still a great day for the Allies and a blow to the Japanese.

I'm sorry that some on the Left are so obsessed with George W. Bush that American victories cause them to feel depressed and bitter, but the fact they they are blindly partisan fools shouldn't be allowed to detract from the accomplishment of the troops. No, this isn't everyone on the Left or even a majority but it isn't a fringe sentiment either.

Thirdly, overselling or overhyping the long-range implications of Zarqawi's death, as some Bush administration officials were doing yesterday, is unwise and undercuts the real benefits derived from killing Zarqawi.

Fourth, that Zarqawi may have been betrayed " from the inside" is no surprise. Bin Laden's career as a terrorist mastermind was launched most likely by complicity in the death of his friend, patron and mentor Abdullah Azzam at the hands of other Islamist radicals ( most likely affiliated with his second in command, Ayman al-Zawahiri). There is no honor among thieves or takfiri extremists either.

All in all, a great day.
 
Comments:
Mark,

Thanks for the kudos. Our boys and girls did a good job of nailing that SOB. Politicians may overhype AMZ's death, but the troops celebration was much, much sober and calm. We know there's a lot to be done in Iraq and across the world to make America (and the world) safer. We know that killing one dude is not going to win us the war. Read Tom Barnett's spot on thought on the subject:
"Actually, we can begin life and will get a lot closer to preventing its end in coming decades--and that's all great stuff.

This is warfare against individuals, not states. We self-flagellate over our mistakes committed against individuals--and this is right. So is celebrating our victories over individuals.

Don't confuse that with the cult of death perpetuated by our enemies in this war. This is not the celebration of death in and of itself, but the victory of those who choose life.

And yeah, that is a very good thing."

The troops deserve credit, but I understand if we are overlooked by some sectors of the public who are disconnected from our reality. We can take care of giving credit to our own "internally", among those who fight for and appreciate the value of freedom.

AMZ's death should not be politicized. We don't fight as Republicans or Democrats, COnservatives or Liberals. We fight and die as Americans.
 
Hi Sonny,

The kudos were more than deserved.

And I think the "disconnection" of which you speak is from the larger American society. Their moral attachment is toward like-minded individuals, including those overseas, who share their worldview and not their fellow citizens or nation-state per se.

The new transnationalism requires at most, holding a neutral, skeptical, critical attitude toward one's own country while extending the benefit of the doubt to all others, even to a ridiculous extreme. Here's an MSM example:

http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/node/820
 
Mark,

Great insights as always. I think you are right. Sometimes it seems to me like all our mistakes are amplified and our accomplishments minimized. Zarqawi's body was still warm when you already had naysayers minimizing the victory. I suspect that some of the people that said we were losing because Zarqawi was still at large are the same ones that say Zarqawi's death is not a triumph. Like I've said before, one event is rarely decisive in any war. Your Adm Yamamoto (the first modern TST in my mind) example illustrates this. Even in a conventional war like WWII no single battle or event was by itself decisive. I am the first one to be against excessive celebration, but I think this is as close as we are going to get to a clear-cut victory. No matter how you slice it, Zarqawi was a terrorist, a force of death. And the world is a better place because he no longer inhabits it.
 
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