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Why Zarqawi’s death is important
Posted by: McQ on Friday, June 09, 2006

I don't think any reasonable person believes that getting Zarqawi is going to end the foreign terrorist jihad in Iraq, especially if they understand it comprises a relatively small portion of the violence in Iraq. On the other hand, it seems terribly bad form to pretend it wasn't important, doesn't have at least a psychological effect on our enemies or his death was somehow manipulated to ease political pressure at home:
Some Democrats, breaking ranks from their leadership, today said the death of terrorist leader Abu Musab Zarqawi in Iraq was a stunt to divert attention from an unpopular and hopeless war.

"This is just to cover Bush's [rear] so he doesn't have to answer" for Iraqi civilians being killed by the U.S. military and his own sagging poll numbers, said Rep. Pete Stark, California Democrat. "Iraq is still a mess — get out."
In frank terms, Stark's remarks are just stupid.

Zarqawi's death is important for a number of reasons. One, we're fighting a "Global War on Terror", and while based in Iraq, Zarqawi represented a global terrorist network which had already attacked the US multiple times. Getting him was important regardless of the relatively small role al Qaeda played in the Iraqi violence.

Two, it demonstrated our persistence. You can run, but you can't hide for ever. We will continue to hunt you down and eventually we will kill you. If you don't think that video demonstrates that in spades to wannabe members of the jihadi community, please think again. Bin Laden and his crew can put their videos out all they wish, we now only have to answer with this one.

Three, it points to tremendous progress in at least our tactical intelligence gathering capability. Word is the information which led to Zarqawi's demise came from another al Qaeda member (through Jordan's government). We acted swiftly and decisively and got our man. Getting that intel where it needed to be in time to have that F-16 on station with the right ordnance points to the development of a very streamlined system in place to act decisively on extremely perishable intelligence. That too will make an impression in all the right places.

Four, it removes a charismatic icon from the field. Zarqawi was feted in soap operas, pop music and other venues in the Arab world. Many had come to believe he was invulnerable. His dead face on Al Jazera ends that bit of nonsense forever and again serves a very visible and useful warning to those who are thinking about joining the extremists he represented. Psychologically, it is an very important victory in the GWoT.

Instead of reducing everything to partisan politics, stupid political assumptions and back-biting snark, people like Stark ought be proud of the progress this event points to in the GWoT. Instead, because he disagrees about Iraq, he chooses to confine his remarks to those of a petulent child who can't find it in himself to praise at least those that brought this monster to his end.

UPDATE: An indication of the psychological effect Zarqawi's death brings as told by an Iraqi journalist:
Although everybody knows that I am against the U.S. occupation to Iraq, I believe what they did in helping the Iraqis kill Zarqawi was a good real step for a better Iraq after three years of destruction and struggle. It’s only now that I feel the US forces are really serious and want to get rid of the terrorists who came as a reaction to their occupation to the country in a way or another. It’s only now I felt that they really want to accomplish their mission and go back home soon. I really hope that what I am feeling is right.

When I saw Maliki in the conference, I wished I could shake his hands to thank him and tell him how I want his government to be strong. I have a feeling that this man is really serious in taking Iraq to the safe side. I really feel that he is doing his best to do a better job than the ones preceded him. Killing Zarqawi is a good omen that Maliki’s government is no longer silent.

It occurred to me that this time, Maliki and the U.S. officials did not let us down when the criminal Zarqawi appeared on TV in his latest video that provoked all Iraqis. They all said his days are numbered and they will get him dead or alive and they did. Thank you all. Afiya [good job]…
 
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Ah, Fortney "Pete" Stark. This is the same guy who accused JC Watts of having fathered children outside of wedlock, and nearly go his a** beat down on the House floor as a result (he also called Nancy Johnson a "whore" and Scott McInnis a "c*cksucker") I wouldn’t expect anything more from him.
 
Written By: Sean
URL: http://www.myelectionanalysis.com
And let us not forget this memorable Pete Stark moment:

http://www.opinionjournal.com/best/?id=110005061
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: http://
The immediate effect of Zarqawi’s death may be seen to be overblown hype by the left leaning media. Zarqawi has been criticized by bin Ladin and Al Zawahiri in the recent past because of the fialures in his campaign. And some may feel that because of this criticism, he had devolved into a minor player within the Insurgency.

In reality, none of this matters. What does matter is reflected by the reaction fo the Iraqi media when the announcement was made of Zarqawi’s death. Applause and cheers. And then, within a very short period of time, three very important, and what had previously been difficult, cabinet positions are filled. That tells me the Iraqi people feel this is important.

If the Iraqi people continue to push the agenda, Zarqawi’s death may be a turning point - and one that could be the beginning of our withdrawal from the region. And hasn’t that been the key point all along? When Iraqi’s are ready to step up, we are ready to step down.
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
McQ

Point 5 is that, given that Zarqo’s closest associates felt it would be profitable to turn his @$$ over to Iraqi police, we can say his value as an insurgent leader was highly damaged at best. Was he intentionally "narc"ed by other components of the insurgency, knowing that he would be "offed" by the Americans? Were coalition and Iraqi forces made into an unwitting hit squad, doing the dirty work of the remaining Ba’athist elements?
 
Written By: D
URL: http://
Was he intentionally "narc"ed by other components of the insurgency, knowing that he would be "offed" by the Americans? Were coalition and Iraqi forces made into an unwitting hit squad, doing the dirty work of the remaining Ba’athist elements?
Who cares, D?

Would we have done otherwise had we developed the info by other means?

Again, the psychological effect in the larger picture of the GWoT is a more important factor.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
I’d add a fifth...
The reaction of much of the left is revealing.

I wonder just how many actually watched Nick Berg’s beheading. For those of us "neocon sympathizers" who did, a subdued fist-clenched "YES" greeted the video of the safe house meetings early conclusion. Instead of honest discourse we see ambivalence, and even distain, on the part of much of the media, in the minority party, and from overseas critics of the US, and it merely exposes their myopic self-serving (self-loathing?) anti-West propaganda.

Poo-poo it all you want, but all that Bush-hating rhetoric will not obscure the fact that an evil man was rightly terminated. Nor will it obscure just how unserious many of the anti-war crowd are.

 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
Nor will it obscure just how unserious many of the anti-war crowd are.
Oh they’re serious. Deadly serious. In NY, a stupid politician made a remark about shooting the president, and the next day the major tabloids published letters to the editor approving of that sentiment. Today, at least one NY Paper published letters to the editor today decrying the Zarkawi killing and noting that Bush is the real terrorist.

They’re as serious about fighting their enemies as we are. But WE are their enemies. Make no mistake about it.

They stopped standing with us a long time ago.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
> Who cares, D?

By itself, that is probably not a major consideration. However, it is interesting that his own people would turn him in to the "shaytan". He was obviously too much of a liability. We already know that his effectiveness was a question to OBL and others in the AQ hierarchy. So it is reasonable to ask if he wasn’t intentionally kicked to the curb by his associates. And, if so, is that because the Jihadist component of the "insurgency" is failing or if this was merely an office coup.
 
Written By: D
URL: http://
Changes nothing... quagmire...oil..Haliburton...War Criminals..."Come Home."
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
if this was merely an office coup
Although I doubt this is what happened, I believe if you go down this speculative path McQ’s point is still very important. The only weapon they have that can win is propaganda. If an internal group wanted to replace him, and the method they chose to carry it out handed our side a huge propaganda victory, then our side is better off with that group in charge.
 
Written By: Scout
URL: http://
Zarqawi is dead. That is the most important point. Of course violence will still occur and of course these islamofascist jihadist scum bags will still press on. But the fact of the matter is that the butcher got his comeuppance. Good riddance. Someone above mentioned the psychological element and its importance. This was verified by the Iraqi journalists’ reacions to the news of Zarq’s demise. A serious piece of garbage has been desposed of and this is GOOD news.
 
Written By: RFN
URL: http://
given that Zarqo’s closest associates felt it would be profitable to turn his @$$ over to Iraqi police
Odd that some people who wouldn’t believe anything else the US government puts out believes that one.

Maybe it isn’t true. Maybe it’s something that we are saying to further splinter the organization.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
Instead of reducing everything to partisan politics, stupid political assumptions and back-biting snark, people like Stark ought be proud of the progress this event points to in the GWoT.
Bush could have killed Zarqawi four years ago. MSNBC has confirmed the story. So has the WSJ. The White House doesn’t dispute it. FOUR YEARS AGO. And why didn’t he? Because killing Zarqawi then wouldn’t have been politically advantageous, as it would have undermined Bush’s claim that we needed to go to war in Iraq.

Which makes what you have to say here outrageous. If you really cared about the GWOT, instead of political posturing, you should have been all over Bush FOUR YEARS AGO for his failure to kill Zarqawi when we had the chance. Instead, now that Bush has finally got around to doing what he should have done FOUR YEARS AGO, you pat him on the back. And to make it worse, you accuse others of reducing the matter to partisan politics.

We wouldn’t even be having this debate right now if Bush hadn’t played partisan politics with Zarqawi back in 2002. I realize your hatred of Dems is hardwired into your brain, along with your undying faith in Bush and his war, but on this issue you have outdone yourself.

Moreover, why isn’t Sadr getting the same treatment? The man is a terrorist. He has ordered his followers to kill Americans, just like Zarqawi. He has ordered his followers to kill innocent Iraqi civilians, just like Zarqawi. So why haven’t we dropped a couple of JDAM’s on Sadr? It certainly can’t be any more difficult to track his movements.

Stark has a point. If Bush really was fighting the war on terror, Zarqawi and Sadr would at this moment be sharing a steam room in a warm place. But where is Sadr now? Roaming freely, ordering more death squads to round up innocent Sunni muslims in the middle of the night. I suppose he is also ordering his people to kill a few Brits down South while they are at it, but then who cares about the Brits, right?

Zarqawi should have been dead four years ago. A president who was really fighting the GWOT would have pulled the trigger. As for Bush, everything is partisan politics. Everything.


 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Stark’s point, like MK’s, is atop his head.

 
Written By: JorgXMcKie
URL: http://
Zarqawi should have been dead four years ago.
Yeah. And I should never have gone out with that girl with the nice figure in college. Heck, I knew she was crazy. Ended up having to repaint my car.

And I should never have picked that business partner back in 1987. The book on entrepreneurship told me to be extra careful picking partners for a new business. What a bum he was!

And the Cubs should never have traded Eckersley. Look how successful he became after leaving them. What were they thinking?

And Clinton. Man! Let Osama get away. What a fool.

Yeah, that hindsight - always 20-20. Or in mk’s case, 20-10.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Moreover, why isn’t Sadr getting the same treatment?
Sistani, supposedly.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
And Clinton. Man! Let Osama get away. What a fool
Pre 9/11. 2002 was post 9/11. Apple, meet orange.
Yeah, that hindsight - always 20-20. Or in mk’s case, 20-10.
From Scheuer, aka anonymous:
"Mr Bush had Zarqawi in his sights almost every day for a year before the invasion of Iraq and he didn’t shoot because they were wining and dining the French in an effort to get them to assist us in the invasion of Iraq. Almost every day we sent a package to the White House that had overhead imagery of the house he was staying in. It was a terrorist training camp ... experimenting with ricin and anthrax ... any collateral damage there would have been terrorists."
Hindsight? Bush looks like an a** alright. Not, of course, to those afflicted with Bush Worship Syndrome though.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
why isn’t Sadr getting the same treatment?
I don’t believe this question makes your point as it can’t be answered. Even assuming someone here has the background to provide educated guesses about the political and military complexities involved, they don’t have the current intelligence data required to know the answer. Sadr alive = Bush unserious about GWOT is a possibility you’ve imagined and invested in based on a partisan view, not logical proof, which is something we all may do if not careful. Surely you can see this?
 
Written By: Scout
URL: http://
Pre 9/11.
But post the first WTC bombing. You guys don’t like to think about that one, do you?

And you just make yourself look silly with that Bush worshiping stuff. I’ve covered it before, ad nauseum. The most positive thing I can say about Bush is that Gore and Kerry were both worse choices.

Tell you what. I believe you are far more enamored of Clinton than I am of Bush. I think your side, based on major media analysis I’ve seen, could accurately be called Clinton worshippers.

So I’ll make this challenge. I’ll tell you, one thing at a time, what I think Clinton did right. Even though I thought he was a fraudulent poseur of a president, I bet I can still name more things that he did well than you can name that Bush did well.

At the same time, I’ll name one thing that I think Bush did wrong, In response, you name one thing you think Clinton did wrong.

Let’s see who is slavish toward a recent president. Who knows? Maybe we’ll both turn out to be more objective than the other one thinks.

First round.

Clinton signed welform reform. (of which I approved)

Bush signed Teddy Kennedy’s No Child Left Behind legislation. (of which I did not approve)
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Hollis, Bush is the WORST President, ever...period AND a WAR CRIMINAL...Plus I think he broke into my house last night and stole my last Entemen’s Plain donut...well mayhap Karl Rove did, but I KNOW he shared it with Chimpy McShruburton! Now 100,000 dead Iraqi babies per month is bad enough, BUT TO STEAL A MAN’S DONUTS...It’s FASCISM I tell you and if the Rethuglicans steal THIS mid-term election like they have the last 4 elections I’m moving to Canada...Tim Hortons here I come!
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Pre 9/11. 2002 was post 9/11. Apple, meet orange.
USS Cole. US embassy bombings. Apple, meet apple.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
...I’m moving to Canada...Tim Hortons here I come!
Haven’t you heard about the great doughnut wars? Dunkin Donuts and Krispy Kreme have moved into Canada, and will be extending American dominance via the extermination of Tim Hortons! Heck, Dunkin Donuts even has the concession in the Toronto Airport! Bwahahaha!
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Haven’t you heard about the great doughnut wars? Dunkin Donuts and Krispy Kreme have moved into Canada, and will be extending American dominance via the extermination of Tim Hortons! Heck, Dunkin Donuts even has the concession in the Toronto Airport! Bwahahaha!
Oh Sweet Jesus there is NO GOD!
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
I love the fact that the piece of sh*t lived long enough to know who killed him....... made my day; one way ticket to Hell courtesy of the Red White & Blue.
 
Written By: McQ2
URL: http://www.nukethebabywhales.com
Gotta love MK’s cognitive dissonance. Al Zarqawi aka ’al Qaeda in Iraq’ was in Iraq pre-invasion. But but but everyone knows Sadam hated al Qaeda and there is none, absolutely no evidence showing that Sadam directed the attack of 9/11 (even though that’s not what bush alleged).

In 2002 seems Bush was attempting the nuanced approach suggested by Kerry and I’m sure favored by MK. Instead of giving credit for a failed effort, the MK’s of the world are adopting ’the shoot and ask questions later’ attutidue that was the cornerstone of their attacks upon the Bush Administration.

Hypocrites... self-serving, petulant, and dangerous hypocrites.
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
"Oh Sweet Jesus there is NO GOD!"

A rather paradoxical oath when you think about it, eh?
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Tim, emotions run high when we’re talking donuts! Don’t aver-analyze the text, instead understand the emotion(s)...now it’s Literary Criticism Day, too.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
One should learn to control one’s emotions. After all, it’s only doughnuts you are talking about. Now if you were discussing the sublime goodness of a Hershey bar, I could understand the enthusiasm.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Last call, mk. Interested in responding? I suspect not. But I want to give you every chance to prove you’re really interested in discussion instead of name calling. So tell me something Bush has done well and something Clinton did that you didn’t like. I’ve got plenty more on my side...
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://

 
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