Monday, June 12, 2006


Although I have previously blogged on this, I wanted to do an update with more reactions to the death of Musab al-Zarqawi's well-deserved death. The reactions this time are from various peoples around the world, and includes a few from One More Terrorist Down from last week.

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.

Tim Blair got an email from a soldier in Iraq, which included this:
We were out on a mission when Z-man went to the Big Jihad in the Sky. Pulled into a village to do a hearts and minds (and intel) gig, and were instantly surrounded by dozens of kids. That’s common, but the kids saying “Mister, mister! Zarqawi! Zarqawi!” and pulling their index fingers across their throats most certainly is not.

In the newspaper The Australian, an opinion piece noted this:
The ruling Hamas faction proclaimed Zarqawi, the man responsible for the deaths of so many Arabs and Muslims, a “martyr of the (Muslim Arab) nation”. The Sydney Morning Herald’s Paul McGeough, who in 2004 was convinced that interim Iraqi prime minister Iyad Allawi shot suspected insurgents in cold blood for sport, yesterday opened his dispatch on Zarqawi’s death wondering if the terrorist was dead.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard was interviewed by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation:
FAINE: And the risk is he becomes a martyr to the cause.

PRIME MINISTER: Well of course. But you’re damned if you do, you’re damned if you don’t. That’s not a reason for letting him go on. He becomes a hero. And I still think when you are dealing with terrorists, a live hero to the terrorists is a bigger threat than a dead martyr.

Castro, brutal dictator of Cuba never misses a chance to kick the US in the sweets:
The accused cannot just be eliminated, this barbarity cannot be done.

From the New York Times' roundup, we get these reactions:

British Prime Minister Tony Blair:
The death of al-Zarqawi is a strike against Al Qaeda in Iraq, and therefore a strike against Al Qaeda everywhere.

But we should have no illusions. We know that they will continue to kill. We know there are many, many obstacles to overcome but they also know that our determination to defeat them is total.

Senator Joe Biden
But as I said to the president the last time I got back from Iraq, if every jihadist is eliminated from Iraq, there's still a war in Iraq.

BBC News had a roundup as well:

Bene Gesserit CelebratesIraq Prime Minister Nouri Maliki
"This is a message to all those who pursue violence and destruction to stop, reconsider their position, and return to their senses before it is too late, because we have decided and we will go ahead, with God's help, until the end to face the murderers and terrorists."

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan:
"Of course, we cannot pretend that [his death] will mean the end of the violence. But it is a relief that such a heinous and dangerous man, who has caused so much harm to the Iraqis, is no longer around to continue his work."

This statement was found on a website that al`Qaeda uses, according to the BBC:
"We announce the martyr death of our sheikh, fighter Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

"[His death will] only reinforce our determination to pursue jihad so that the word of Allah gains the upper hand."

President of the USA George Bush:
"Through his every action, he sought to defeat America and our coalition partners and turn Iraq into a safe haven from which al Qaeda could wage its war on free nations.

"To achieve these ends, he worked to divide Iraqis and incite civil war. And only last week he released an audiotape attacking Iraq's elected leaders and denouncing those advocating the end of sectarianism. Now Zarqawi has met his end and this violent man will never murder again."

Paul Bigley, brother of a man Zarqawi beheaded:
The man was an animal and he deserved what he got. And may he rot in hell.”

Robert Fisk:
The American press dusted off their favourite phrase: "terrorist mastermind". No one, I suspect, will be able to claim the $25m on his head - unless he was betrayed by his own hooded gunmen - but the American military, stained by the blood of Haditha, received a ritual pat on the back from the Commander-in-Chief. They had got their man, the instigator of civil war, the flame of sectarian hatred, the head chopper who supposedly murdered Nicholas Berg. Maybe he was all these things. Or maybe not.

And finally, a "progressive" from the Daily Kos, who does not suppor the troops:
All this carefully calculated discussion of Zarqawi’s death is revealing just what a dialectical stranglehold the Right has over us right now. It’s great that a scumbag like that is dead, lord knows he deserves to rot in hell, but do we have to pour it on extra thick just to satisfy the Right’s bloodlust? Just to prove that We Support the Troops too? I’m sick of hedging every argument through their prism that being liberal means being anti-American. It’s a semantic albatross. The only way to get it from around our necks is to rip the sucker off, not to keep petting it and hope that it will fly away and leave us one day.

As far as wishing the soldiers a safe return, who the hell doesn’t want that? But when it comes to the day-to-day operations of occupation I can’t condone what’s going on over there and I won’t pretend I do.

Reactions vary, and while nearly everyone except the true terrorists and muslim extremists make at least an effort at condemning Zarqawi, there is a sad tendency on the left to try to spin this into something meaningless or at least probably bad, and I find that depressing. Certainly for at least a few moments we can end this fixation with advocacy and political struggle?

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Anna Venger said...

Senator Joe Biden
But as I said to the president the last time I got back from Iraq, if every jihadist is eliminated from Iraq, there's still a war in Iraq.

Oh, my. How so, Senator?

and Berg, let's not forget Berg.

Oh, Delaware, I grieve for thee.

Christopher R Taylor said...

I have to admit that comment confused me deeply. I don't really understand what he meant - unless he's trying to say that the Iraqi people personally are opposed to the coalition and would fight.

One wonders if Michael Moore believes a minuteman fighting for God has fallen - given his quote "The Iraqis who have risen up against the occupation are not 'insurgents' or 'terrorists' or 'The Enemy.' They are the REVOLUTION, the Minutemen, and their numbers will grow -- and they will win. Get it, Mr. Bush?"
"I'm sorry, but the majority of Americans supported this war once it began and, sadly, that majority must now sacrifice their children until enough blood has been let that maybe -- just maybe -- God and the Iraqi people will forgive us in the end."

Anna Venger said...

With all due respect to Michael Moore (cough, cough), Zarqawi was not Iraqi. He was fighting to prevent the freedom of Iraqis. What goes on in his head?

Muslihoon said...

Az-Zarqawi was probably the worst thing to happen to Iraq, after Saddam Hussein. Az-Zarqawi has been worse than the entire invasion, subsequent disorganization, and current insurgency. As much as I detest Saddam and Usama, I absolutely hate Zarqawi. That man was a demonic hurricane of violence and suffering. Under his reign of terror, Sunnis, Shiites, and Coalition forces all suffered. What is worse is that az-Zarqawi, and a number of his men in Iraq, were not even from Iraq. They were foreign, perpetuating the irksome trend of foreigners marching to other countries to fight wars the people don't want to fight. These men were not insurgents. One would have to be from the land to be an insurgent.

How much longer do people want foreign terrorists in Iraq to hijack Iraq's future and people? Our forces are there to help them. Were it not for these terrorists, the work might have been done already. And it infuriates me that these terrorists are excused by the Left. There is no excuse. None.