"I can I think safely say that he will not be missed." - NATO Spokesman James Appathurai, on the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.Life-of-Rubin has a roundup of J-blog reactions to the very good news out of Iraq, that Zarqawi was killed in a US airstrike earlier today. The title link is a recap of the quotes from world leaders and other notable people... I feel bad for the father of Nicholas Berg [who was beheaded by Zarqawi], who had this to say:
Nicholas Berg's father, a pacifist who is running for Delaware's U.S. House seat on the Green Party ticket, said Zarqawi's death is likely to foster anti-American resentment among Al Qaeda members who feel they have nothing left to lose.Meanwhile, I think the Iraqi foreign minister summed up the day perfectly:
He dismissed the notion that Zarqawi's death might bring him closure.
"First of all, I'm not even certain that al-Zarqawi even killed my son," said Michael Berg, who doesn't believe the videotape of his son's execution or what he's been told by the FBI any more than he believes conspiracy theories suggesting his son was killed by the U.S. government.
"I think the news of the loss of any human being is a tragedy. I think al-Zarqawi's death is a double tragedy," he said. "His death will incite a new wave of revenge. George Bush and al-Zarqawi are two men who believe in revenge."
Berg said "restorative justice," — such as being forced to work in a hospital where maimed children are treated — could have made Zarqawi "a decent human being.
"This is a happy day for Iraq and the Iraqi people ... he was the prince of terrorism and encouraged sectarian strife.
"I think what happened today was a decisive blow for terrorist networks and that Iraq will not be a safe haven for any foreign terrorists. But the war against terrorism and the remnants of Saddam's former regime is not over yet."
— Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari
It was a decisive blow, but it's not over yet - and probably won't be for a long time. But it is a huge step on the road to rebuilding Iraq and in the war on terror. May his memory soon be forgotten.