Jun 8, 2006

An End to Terror, or Just a Dead Terrorist?

Left: Photo courtesy of Yahoo News

(Baghdad) It was with mixed emotions that I allowed myself to get sucked into the television coverage of the reported death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Salafi Muslim militant and the self-proclaimed leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq.

A visceral part of me felt the urge to pump a fist in the air for the death of the twisted thug who sliced off the head of American contractor Nick Berg. A piece of advice: do not EVER watch the video footage of al-Zarqawi cutting off Berg's head, unless you want to suffer nightmares.

I simultaneously grew irritated at the coverage on FOX and CNN, both of which trumpeted the death of al-Zarqawi as some sort of pivotal historical moment.

Make no mistake - as a political and military leader, al-Zarqawi's death will be a temporary loss to the al-Qaeda network. There is, however, no shortage of militants to take his place.

Indeed, within hours of the announcement of al-Zarqawi's death, two separate explosions tooks the lives of 15 civilians and wounded another 36 people.

We should also remember that, prior to the invasion of Iraq, al-Zarqawi was essentially a bit player in the al-Qaeda movement. He had spent most of the prior decade either in a Jordanian prison or on the run from authorities. The presence of US troops in Iraq and resultant political chaos gave al-Zarqawi an opportunity to put his sociopathic mind to greater exploits.

The violence that al-Zarqawi helped begin will continue without his physical presence. We should consider the dead terrorist as nothing more than a spark in a large tinderbox, as the flames of violence would have ignited eventually, and they will not be diminished with his death.


Hooda Thunkit said...

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s death gives me no satisfaction; it had to be done.

I’ve heard all sorts of suggestions of how to most “appropriately” desecrate al-Zarqawi’s body, but they all seem too vengeful and inappropriate for Americans to tolerate.

However, in the spirit of “an eye for an eye,” I suggest something simple yet elegant, something that al-Zarqawi would fully understand from a cultural standpoint, I suggest that Zarqawi’s body be beheaded and buried headless in an unmarked grave.

Further, that the head be placed on a sharpened stick in front of Nick Berg’s family’s home so that they can watch as the birds and other critters of the wild descend and feed on the flesh, eyes, brain, tongue, etc., of Zarqawi as the birds and animals of the wild are wont to do… (but in a tasteful and respectful way.)

Zarqawi’s death, as you pointed out, will very quickly be made out to be a reason (excuse) for further violence/revenge by whomever replaces him, and the killing will continue, I have no doubt of that…

Brian said...

America must stay on the high road on this.

He should be allowed whatever religious rites are appropriate for his religion and let his god/our God/some god to deal with him on another plane.

I know the lust for desecration and dishonor is strong, but, as that country that still is Reagan's "Shining City on the Hill", we must remain dignified.

Dariush said...

Matt Barganier on Turning Point #10 of the Iraq war/occupation, and Eric Garris on Zarqawi's "martyrdom".

Dariush said...

Hooda: "Further, that the head be placed on a sharpened stick in front of Nick Berg's family's home so that they can watch as the birds and other critters of the wild descend and feed on the flesh, eyes, brain, tongue, etc., of Zarqawi as the birds and animals of the wild are wont to do… (but in a tasteful and respectful way.)"

Here's what Nick Berg's father had to say on the subject.

M A F said...

al Zarqawi's death will have little impact upon what takes place in Iraq. As I heard one analyst say, his death will end the violence as effectively as the capture of Saddam did. al Zarqawi has always been more important to the US government in the propaganda war for the hearts and minds of the US public. Bush lost the golden boy of violent extremism. Now who will the US look to foist the most evil terrorist label upon?

The real interesting question is who in his circle that turned him in...and is there any correlation between his death and the stories about him being forced out for his tactics?

Do said...

Fact: This is just one pawn in a lengthy chess game. This war is far from over.

Yes - to know that this beast has been disabled is encouraging, but it's not comforting. Two very different emotions.

Anonymous said...

So , basically, Hypocritemike is upset that al-Zarqawi is dead.

Big suprise.

historymike said...

Hi again, anonymous troll!

Hey - "HypocriteMike" is not nearly as funny as "HistoryKike," the moniker that the neo-Nazis dubbed me with.

Keep trying, though. Maybe you'll find something with some actual humor in it.

BTW - actually READ the posts before commenting. I doubt that anyone who read it can miss my disgust for the dead thug Zarqawi.

Dariush said...

"The U.S. military is conducting a propaganda campaign to magnify the role of the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, according to internal military documents and officers familiar with the program. The effort has raised his profile in a way that some military intelligence officials believe may have overstated his importance and helped the Bush administration tie the war to the organization responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks."


"For the past two years, U.S. military leaders have been using Iraqi media and other outlets in Baghdad to publicize Zarqawi's role in the insurgency. The documents explicitly list the "U.S. Home Audience" as one of the targets of a broader propaganda campaign.

"Some senior intelligence officers believe Zarqawi's role may have been overemphasized by the propaganda campaign, which has included leaflets, radio and television broadcasts, Internet postings and at least one leak to an American journalist. Although Zarqawi and other foreign insurgents in Iraq have conducted deadly bombing attacks, they remain 'a very small part of the actual numbers,' Col. Derek Harvey, who served as a military intelligence officer in Iraq and then was one of the top officers handling Iraq intelligence issues on the staff of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told an Army meeting at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., last summer."

--Washington Post, "Military Plays Up Role of Zarqawi," Monday, April 10, 2006

I post this by way of an introduction to a point that I think is lost on many Americans, but not Iraqis. I have yet to speak with one Iraqi, not one -- whether Sunni, Shia, Armenian, Assyrian or anything else -- who believes in the legend and myth of Zarqawi, the big-bad uberterrorist who beheads infidels with one hand tied behind his back and drinks the blood of children.

They don't deny his existence, many have (or had) family in Mosul and more than one person saw him there in 2002. But most believe him to have long since expired.

By and large, Zarqawi (the myth, the legend, not the man) was a psy-op whose chief target, as the WaPo report attests, was the American public. A central figure, with a recognizable face or mugshot, was needed for domestic two-minute hate sessions and the booga booga Zarqawi fit the bill nicely. Now there'll simply be another Emmanuel Goldstein figure that'll take his place.

For more on Zarqawi please read the following:

-- John Birch Blog, "Zarqawi's Dead? Great -- Let's Go Home!"

-- The Atlantic Monthly, "The Short, Violent Life of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi"

Both of the above do a wonderful job of peeling back the veil on the Zarqawi legend. Albeit the Atlantic does so with much more detail and less editorializing. The JBS however, as usual, cut right to the point and don't mince words.

--Lenin's Tomb, "A Successful Three-Year Psyop"
An analysis of the actual Zarqawi psy-op memo, plus reactions to his death, and how the war in Iraq itself is packaged and presented for domestic consumption.

--Chris Floyd, "Hubub in Hibhib: The Timely Death of al-Zarqawi"
Nice bit of satire and sarcasm from the veteran reporter for the Moscow Times.

--Michel Chossudovsky, "Who was Abu Musab al Zarqawi?"
Nothing sexy here. Just an excellent compilation of intel and news reports

And last but not least a couple of concise, well-researched and cogent posts by Kurt Nimmo, "Abu Musab al-Zarqawi: Dead Again", and "Killing al-Zarqawi: End of a Pentagon-Dairat al-Mukhabarat Collaboration?"

Dariush said...

Off topic on Zarqawi, but very much on topic when it comes to Iraq and "The Long War", I highly recommed this great video put together by Kurt Nimmo. Audio from a recent appearance by Stephen Sniegoski on Karen Kwiatkowski's radio show on Republic Broadcasting Network.