Thursday, June 08, 2006


It was a mistranslation, of course. The text meant 72 Virginians

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is dead. The news is everywhere, by now, with full commentary, notation, examination, and step-by-step analysis of the man's career, life, and death. Tidbits such as this happening on the day that traditionally Muhammad (born Muhammad ibn 'Abd Allah ibn 'Abd al-Muttalib) died (June 8th, 632), and how this is the same day as a small leftwing blogger convention called Kos World Yearly Kos was held. There's even footage going around from the bomb camera of the strike, which is worth viewing just to see how precise and careful this strike was. Iraqis danced and celebrated in the streets, apparently glad to see a monsterous terrorist in their midst sent to his just reward.

I can't add anything to the mix other than a grim satisfaction that this monster is standing tall before God now and answering for his deeds, but here is a cross section of comments from around the blogosphere, showing the kinds of reactions that people had...

From Right Wing News Zarquawi Is Now a Good Terrorist:
It is good news. Let's hope the violence lessens and the country of Iraq can get their feet on the ground.
-by farmer

We should thank Hawkins for his use of this tasteful picture of one of the world's most henious terrorists, as to not trivalize the occasion.

It's much better than using the bloody, bloated picture of his stinking ventilated corpse that's currently available at Drudge and many other locations online...
-by MikeM
[I used the same picture for this article]
The last thing we need is to put these guys on trial. The spectacle of Hollywood rallying to the defense of these thugs is more than the country could bear.
-by celebrim

Congratulations are in order for our boys & girls hunting down the sick dogs and put them down like they should be.

Whether or not this will stem the violence at this point is irrelevant. We should just take satisfaction that this grub can longer kill innocent men, women and children.
-by D Vega

>Dancing Snoopy is cool, but dancing Patton [John Hawkin's dog] would
>be better.
Dancing Iraqis are better yet. Every time FOX shows the tape of Iraqis dancing at the news of Zarqawi's death, I have the urge to do the same.
-by CavalierX

I'd like to take this opportunity to say:
Yeah, baby!!! Woooo!

Could al-Qaida possibly have had any more anti-American resentment than they already possess? How much further down could they spiral than their already foaming-at-the-mouth, kill- passengers-and-fly-planes-into-buildings-killing-innocent-women-and-children hatred? What do we have to lose? When an enemy hates you and wants you to suffer and die, can it get worse? As Berg's father said, "They killed their best friend." Ya know, with friends like that...
-by Ann Avenger

Death becomes him, Zarqawi. Congrats to the Troops and President Bush!

There is an interesting pattern that has been set by the killing of this rat (zarqawi), the fact that oil prices have already begun to drop as a result. What does this mean to the back pocket and life style of Americans and most everyone else in the world? Doesn't it mean, for example, that confidence is restored when you kill a head of Al Qaeda [militant Islamist organisation]? It seems to also suggests that the price of oil would certainly drop (again!) if Bin Laden were killed! Pakistan, we can do this the easy way or the hard way, so stand aside, we're coming to get him!!
-by russelp

Its a good thing they got Zargawi, but they should have waited till around September or closer to the elections before they did... That way his death would have been refresher in the minds of our 6 month attention-spanned public... Getting him now, doesn't quite have the same effect... Besides, not much will change in Iraq as a result of this death... The violence may become more intense... But it give Bush&Co and Tony Blair something to cheer about... RAH, RAH, SISS, BOOM, BAH... as Bush would say..
-by blackspeak
At the Belmont Club, Wretchard interviewed Omar at Iraq the Model about this event and what it means. You can listen to the interview, and read what Wretchard wrote about the event when it happened in Z-Man: RIP. Commenters had this to say:
Thank God, not the false diety of the head hacking vermin, but the Lord God Almighty. What a wonderful day and gift.
-by 2164th

Somewhere in the lowest level of the Inferno, a suprise party is just getting underway.
-by Scott Free

Just imagine if America followed Mawkish Murtha's sage advice:

To start pulling out of Iraq in November. To station our troops in Okinawa - soon to be moved again to some other little island in the balmy Pacific. To have the Army back in Germany - ready for the 2006 Oktoberfest... Giving stern looks and scary faces to the terrorists way over the horizon!!!


What would the status of Z-Man be if we had followed this brilliant Marines advice...
-by Boghie

Light, Sweet Crude Oil futures: last sale $69.65 down $1.07 on the day.
The market has determined that Z-Man was worth exactly $1.07
-by Jrod
Little Green Footballs had an article on this entitled Zarquawi is an Ex-Headhopper and the commenters there sounded like this:
I felt anguish at times, like when Pat Tillman was killed, but today, I feel jubilation.
-by Imploder

Coulter: Karl, I'm getting too much heat.

Rove: Roll out the Zarkamn.
-by JammieWearingFool

One less headchopper running around inciting others to chop heads, blow stuff up, and cause all kinds of mayhem. That's a good thing.

That the raid took out the spiritual leader Sheikh Abu Rahman is also a big blow to AQ in Iraq. Anyone know who the other minions were who were killed in the raid? Might be interesting to know if they were relatives of Zarqawi or Rahman - since AQ likes to keep their leadership in the family.
-by lawhawk

I disagree with the notion that this won't affect al-Qaida in Iraq.

Sure it is an ideology, but so are things like Capitalism, Liberty, Marxism, Fascism, etc., and without great leaders (i.e. individuals) to advance their cause, they fizzle into the ashes of history. Of course it's too early to know for sure, but if there's not a ready-to-lead successor in the wings, this could be a VERY significant operational blow.

I guess I'm of the opinion that people drive history, not concepts. Chalk me up as an anti-marxist historian.
-by tupsox



-by owl

And over on the left hand side of the blogosphere, we have the Daily Kos, who apparently found time in the convention schedule to post Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is Dead with a news quote and one word: "finally." Commenters there had this to say:

Bush's idea of justice is bombs falling out of the sky?
-by Johann

Good news of course, but now the media is going to be praising Bush and the war, and there are going to be a bunch of speeches by the president and others. They're going to milk this thing dry.

19 were killed today also. I'm a bit doubtful this is going to change much. It wasn't as if al-Zarqawi himself brainwashed people who otherwise were not interested in al-Qaeda or killing innocent people, and I'm doubtful he personally directed all actions there. He's a figurehead.

We have turned a corner for freedom.
-by atomicbirdsong

What would two 500lb bombs do to a human body?
Those pics of Abu Z look like they just thawed him out just in time for the elections. When was the last time we saw him?
-by barefoot mailman

i've been waiting for one for some time now since Bush's numbers have been in the dumps. As for the Z guy, I'm not thoroughly convinced of the story. It hard to believe anything this administration has to say anymore. But, I must admit this is one mighty fine rabbit to pull out of their ass to try and save their hides come November.
-by blue drop

If Rove is indicted that will drown out this news. It will backfire in our favor, aborting the mileage the cons are trying to get out of this.
-by elouise

I imagine this will cause a short-term blip in W's approval rating, but like Saddam's capture, it's all ado about nothing. Even a blind pig finds an acorn once in a while.

The real test will be in the body count.
-by Trim Your Bush

That phrase, "delivered justice," sent a shiver up my spine.

What was delivered was retribution, not justice. This is plenty biblical, but not "just." Muslims, Christians, Jews -- all the followers of the cousin religions born in those lands -- have heard and ignored divine calls for restraint on revenge. That's what it means to say "[no more than] an eye for an eye."

Confusion between justice -- a dispassionate and methodical determination of guilt or innocence, and retribution -- simply revenge, but with the stench of summary justice, is a hallmark of the fundamentalist mentality.
-by OldYellerDog

Zarqawi was quite probably a psy ops job in the first place, so what does that make his "death"?

Keep your eyes on the prize:

Gay marriage?

Flag burning?


-by Christopher Day

just in time to hide the fact they're trying to cut the estate tax for the uber wealthy and plunge us into a trillion dollar more of debt.
-by DisNoir36

al-Zarqawi was at war with the United States and Iraq. As such, he was a legitimate military target, provided the attack did not present an unreasonable risk of harm to non-combatants.

What we need to keep in mind, first, is that, while al-Zarqawi's death surely is a good thing, the contribution it may make to the development of a democratic Iraq at peace with itself is uncertain at best. Second, while people of good will all should join in hoping for the success of this project, success in no way would legitimate either the invasion of Iraq or the prior conduct of U.S. policy.
-by another American

Not only that but he was guilty of masterminding suicide bombings and beheadings of innocent civilians. He was a brutal monster and destroying him was most definitely justice. Revenge is not necessarily simultaneously unjust. It all depends on who is carrying out the revenge, if you're looking at the Old Testament, anyway.

Are people thinking he was going to surrender himself up and go through the American court process or something?

I am glad he is dead. However, I don't think it's going to do anything much for the situation in Iraq - it's a blow to AQ sure, but it's not going to magically solve things in Iraq.
-by Tryptophan

He's dead now so we'll never know... For Bush, on whose watch literally hundreds of inmates were executed when he was governor of Texas, seems to equate justice and death. Forget arresting people, just kill them.

Zarqawi was a bad guy and I am glad he is gone, but it really disturbs me that we have become merchants of death in the name of "justice". IMO justice means what happens inside a court room. Call me old-fashioned...
-by flo58

And I don't believe the official version of this story for a minute. Here's an article about the guy which may help shed some light on just how important (or unimportant) this guy was in the grand scheme of things.

From reading this, it seems Zarqawi was just your run of the mill, small town thug, who was made into something bigger by the US, and in part by Bin Laden.
-by cometman

He published his own DVDs cutting off people's heads, and his own men called him "the slaughtering shaykh". He was a psychopath, and good riddence. I agree that Bush will manipulate this for political advantage, but it's ironic that some people here are so quick to dismiss Zarqawi as a mythic figure created by the Americans. He was probably behind the Sammara mosque bombing, the killing of Mohammed Bakir al-Hakim of SCIRI, in 2004, and the Jordanian embassy bombing.
-by ivorybill

Um We have him on video, that his group released doing these things. He called for the deaths of Americans and Shiites in a war zone. He called himself the leader of Al Queda in Iraq (a group we have declared war on).

At what point is it ok to drop a bomb on his head?

If he was innocent, he had ample opportunity to turn himself in and clear up the misunderstanding. It's not like he didn't know we were looking for him....
-by homey

OK, so we got the bad guy (riiiiight).
Iraq will be fine now (riiiiight).
Mission Really Accomplished. We mean it this time (riiiiight).
This is the turning point we'll all been waiting for! (riiiiight).

Sounds like the perfect time to declare sweet victory, hold a parade, and bring the troops home. Time to kiss the girls in Times Square, boys!

Really, I'm not kidding. Iraq will never be stable as long as we're there, and soner or later, when some adults finally prevail in DC, we are going to be looking for some figleaf to cover our privates (and our lance corporals) as we bugger outta there. What better time to stand up, say "OK, we're done - now we're heading home, victorious"? It'll make a much better exit strategy than clinging to the last helicopter skids off the roof of the US embassy as some decidely unfriendly guys really crash the gates.
-by leftyboy666

At The Democratic Underground, there are no articles per se, but as a message board there were plenty of entries on the topic, such as these:
Our very own Abu Musab Al-Goldstein!
How many deaths is it now?
-by Zhabe

Very curious, I wonder how this plays into neocon plans to attack Iran?
-by Roland99

ABC has a highly detailed special report going.

breaking late night...They've been blaming him for every ill for the past 15 minutes.

Oil rigs , hotels, The UN compound , Nick Berg (ABC says he actually killed Berg himself).

This guy was a regular one man super army.

Such BS.

The boogey man

Goldstein is finally dead? right
-by Slaveplanet

Gawd no disrespect - but this is only a tool used by the BushBotBorg to pick-up morale. It sort of equates to 1984 Announcements that our "chocolate rations" will be upped for the next month.
Translation: He's a fictitious character.

Too funny. One each, phony persona, al-Zarqawi functions (for us Peasant Classes) like the Wile E. Coyote of Islamic Terrorists. When the bombs fell, was he holding up a itty bitty umbrella?

No worries though ---> you can bet that within the next year he'll be resurrected and firing another A.C.M.E. machine gun.

Bullsh*t! Until they pull out remnants of his tiny umbrella, I AIN'T BUYING IT.

It's almost an "open joke" among the military and civilians who know how PsyOps operate, and the History, that Zarqowi is merely a "Pentagon creation."
And oh, don't we need some good news now? It's so predictable I could write the OP Orders.

It's all bullsh*t LIES paraded around for PR exploitation.

We almost need wings to rise above it.
-by ShortnFiery

I couldn't agree more with your psyops assessment of the situation ...I never believed in this pat story of AL Qaeda in Iraq. It set off my bullsh*t meter right from the get go. This won't help Bush as much as Rove would like. It is just a desperate stunt in an attempt to prop up Bush's poll numbers and boost the popularity his failed war by feigning the killing of one of the psyop program's main character. But by next week they'll have thought up another one to take his place.

This is a classic case of the tail wagging the dog. And what better way to shut down the story of Bush's bisexuality that were picking up a "head" of steam? I'm sure Jeff Gannon is thrilled about this latest development.
-by wizdum

[wizdum then linked to this comical site]
They had to kill him. They couldn't ban gay people. They had to do SOMETHING.

It's unspeakably cruel to do this to military families who must keep hoping that THIS TIME it means something real for them.

For that alone, I hope Rumsfeld burns in hell or some equivalent for eternity.
-by sfexpat2000

You ask yourself the very same questions I ask myself every day...What is it going to take to wake people up?

I swear today I was in such a funk...I look at the election that took place in CA for example, in particular the run-off/primary seat in the 50th District for the Dukester's congressional seat. If more registered Dems had gone out to vote, we could have won it. If the DNC spent even half as much as the RNC or sent out staffers and foot soldiers, we could have won it. I am just so tired of it all and keep wondering what is it going to take?

When this news about Zarqawi came on, I just shook my head and like you said "Lather, Rinse, Repeat Huzzah!"

Imagine - more people voted for American Idol than in our elections....more people know and research info on the American Idol candidates than they do on political candidates or issues...And yes, there will be a bunch of sheeple in America tommorrow morning who when they wake up from their blissful sleep after watching a bunch of reality shows, they will hear about the Bogeyman Terrorist Zarqawi being dead and they will suddenly think the world is safer and everything is okay....

It's so disgusting and depressing....I want my country back...
-by Panchamama
And finally a few quotes from non-bloggers and non-commenters, courtesy DrSanity:
From Michael Berg, father of Nick Berg: "I have no sense of relief, just sadness that another human being had to die...As the poet John Donne said, any man’s death diminishes me. It doesn’t bring my son back, and this will just bring a new cycle of revenge killings”

John Kerry:- Some Democrats renewed pressure on Bush to bring U.S. troops home by the end of the year. "Our troops have done their job in Iraq."

Pete Stark, D (CA): "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. Iraq is still a mess -- get out."

Richard Clarke: "ultimately for the loved ones of troops in Iraq, [Zarqawi's death] is not going to mean a big difference."

Matt Brown, ABC: For those opposed to the American-led project in Iraq and their own authoritarian and dictatorial regimes, a new martyr has been created. He graduated from the Jihad against the Soviets in Afghanistan to Iraq where he became the bane of the most powerful military in the world.

Now he’s been brought down, but in the eyes of the disaffected, his soul will be lifted to heaven.
Just as an aside, Ace of Spades notes that while Newsweek used the word "alleged" 7 times in discussing the Canadian terrorists that were captured (you know, the ones that the Canadian government is trying to avoid noting were all young islamic Arabs), their article on this event only has the word once. While word counts are limited in their use as proof of anything, one comes away with a distinctly different impression of how the stories were covered.

To cap it all off, I direct you to an article by Christopher Hitchens entitled A Good Day's Work (Why Zarqawi's Death Matters).

*UPDATE: Corrected Mr Hitchens' name from Victor Davis Hanson and added link to Ace of Spades Headquarters
**UPDATE: Added Richard Clarke and Matt Brown quotes
***UPDATE: Corrected Kos World to Yearly Kos and added link

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Muslihoon said...

A good day indeed!

(Just a nitpick: the prophet of Islam was born "Muhammad ibn 'Abd Allah ibn 'Abd al-Muttalib." "'Abd Allah ibn 'Abd al-Muttalib" is the name of Muhammad's father. As one would then be able to make out, 'Abd al-Muttalib is Muhammad's grandfather.)

Christopher R Taylor said...

Ah, thanks for the correction, that's what I get for relying on Wikipedia for my Arabic.

Anna Venger said...

Most maddening is Michael Berg who stood on his campaign manager's porch with his campaign sign behind him here in MY STATE talking to the media about how Bush is more of a terrorist than Zarqawi was. Argh!