Thursday, June 08, 2006

"I can I think safely say that he will not be missed."

"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.

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.

Meanwhile, I think the Iraqi foreign minister summed up the day perfectly:

"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.


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  2. Well, Mr. Berg is very wrong. But people should try not to get too angry at Mr. Berg or Cindy Sheehan and the 9/11 widows Ann Coulter bashed for that matter.

    I'm sure we've had people like this in every American war who were too hurt by the tragedy in their families to understand the realities. The difference is now the Main Stream Media is too stupid not to give these people such a platform. Not out of spite, just sympathy. They need help, not a microphone. Of course, the Internet means these folks will get some kind of platform anyway. But major networks have got to stop focusing on these people, (including FOX News, which uses these people too, just to put them up to ridicule).

  3. Note: I wanted to clarify my earlier comment

    As I said on the phone to a friend last night, the death of this terrible person will end up saving lives and I'm exceptionally proud of the U.S. military's work in tracking him down.

    My only hope is that the two very strong psychological messages have a long-lasting affect on the insurgency and al-Qaeda at large:

    1) We infiltrated their organization. That's where the intelligence came from. They must be going crazy now trying to figure out "who is the rat?!"

    2) We used 500-pound precision bombs dropped from F-16s at a distance of miles in all likelihood (F-16s have a range of 4 miles). Those U.S. fighter jets apparently took their time, circled the area a few times and unleashed their payload when they were ready.

    That kind of warfare is devastating to the psyche of terrorist gangs that have sprouted up around Zarqawi's network. They want to be martyrs, for sure, but they also want to take out Americans or infidels while they are at it. Being killed by a bomb from the heavens is their worst fear.

    Congratulations to the Air Force, and thank you to the Iraqis and Jordians who provided the intelligence for this important strike.

    Having said that, I think this really may be just a psychological victory. I hope it builds morale and momentum for the Allied forces, but I'm cautiously optimistic at this point.

    Oh, and congratulations to the newly completed Iraqi government as well.