Thwack.

I really do try not to rejoice at other people’s deaths, but sometimes it’s tricky.

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, head of al Qaeda in Iraq, killed by US airstrike.

One of the more bloody-minded and vicious thugs of our recent past, the mastermind and chief encourager of hundreds of suicide bombings, aimed not only at Americans but at Iraqis, so that there would never be a sense of peace. He has the blood of thousands of civilians on his hands, and was actively continuing and accelerating his program of murder. He preached a variety of hard-line Islamism that made even the Taliban seem fairly moderate. In fact, he was far enough “out there” that his successors are likely to be more moderate – and less effective. Not something that happens so often in the Middle East.

Good job and congrats to all those involved on a difficult – and important – operation. This move likely just saved the lives of a few thousand civilians, and increased the chances of bringing this damned war to an end soon.

Published in: on June 8, 2006 at 10:40  Comments (20)  
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20 Comments

  1. Thanks for posting this. I wondered what you would say about it. I still have trouble with waking up to all the bravado on the news, though.

  2. Thanks for posting this. I wondered what you would say about it. I still have trouble with waking up to all the bravado on the news, though.

  3. Yeah… it’s kind of strange. The Washington Post has a pretty interesting bit about the Iraqi reaction, though, which isn’t quite as bravado-centered.

  4. Yeah… it’s kind of strange. The Washington Post has a pretty interesting bit about the Iraqi reaction, though, which isn’t quite as bravado-centered.

  5. I hope the bastard suffered.

  6. I hope the bastard suffered.

  7. Wow.

  8. Wow.

  9. Did you read the WP article? (Link in my response to anthologie’s comment) Brings a smile to your face.

  10. Did you read the WP article? (Link in my response to anthologie’s comment) Brings a smile to your face.

  11. Haven’t we already received four notifications by the government that they believed they killed him? Anyway, awfully glad they have a body to go with the claim this time.

  12. Haven’t we already received four notifications by the government that they believed they killed him? Anyway, awfully glad they have a body to go with the claim this time.

  13. GThis move likely just saved the lives of a few thousand civilians, and increased the chances of bringing this damned war to an end soon.
    Either that, or we just made a martyr out of the opposition’s leader, steeling their resolve and making death for the cause even more approachable than it was already.
    Having al-Zarqawi “gone” is great, but i’m pretty sure that having him dead isn’t much better than having him alive and in command.

  14. GThis move likely just saved the lives of a few thousand civilians, and increased the chances of bringing this damned war to an end soon.
    Either that, or we just made a martyr out of the opposition’s leader, steeling their resolve and making death for the cause even more approachable than it was already.
    Having al-Zarqawi “gone” is great, but i’m pretty sure that having him dead isn’t much better than having him alive and in command.

  15. Yeah, that’s always the hard issue. In this case I’m actually pretty sanguine about it; his own people will certainly try to make a martyr of him, but enough Iraqis really disliked him that their success will probably be limited. He was also extreme enough in his Salafism that even other extremists are likely to be more moderate… and he was enough of an effective operational commander that his successor may have a lot of trouble.
    It reminds me a bit of when Israel killed the Blind Sheikh, Hamas immediately nominated a new leader, and Israel killed him a few days later. The next leader they nominated refused to be publicly identified… and that really did no good for their recruiting or organizational capacity.

  16. Yeah, that’s always the hard issue. In this case I’m actually pretty sanguine about it; his own people will certainly try to make a martyr of him, but enough Iraqis really disliked him that their success will probably be limited. He was also extreme enough in his Salafism that even other extremists are likely to be more moderate… and he was enough of an effective operational commander that his successor may have a lot of trouble.
    It reminds me a bit of when Israel killed the Blind Sheikh, Hamas immediately nominated a new leader, and Israel killed him a few days later. The next leader they nominated refused to be publicly identified… and that really did no good for their recruiting or organizational capacity.

  17. Under the circumstances, that seems unlikely.

  18. Under the circumstances, that seems unlikely.

  19. It’s a little weird how that article goes to the trouble to name each person and their attached opinion. It’s like they’re setting them up for retribution.

  20. It’s a little weird how that article goes to the trouble to name each person and their attached opinion. It’s like they’re setting them up for retribution.


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