Friday, June 09, 2006

Death Of A Terrorist, Er, One Of 'Em

Photo: AP

Well, I bet y’all didn’t know that Demon Princess is quite familiar with the history of the Wild, Wild West, having spent quite some time there in her early days--which accounts for the ease with which she laces salty sailor-words into big twenty-dollar ones--but point being, when I saw this photo of the dread dead terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, bagged Wednesday, I recognized the tactic immediately.

In the Old West, we would have charged you a dime to walk past his pine box before he got to stinking too badly. I daresay, in the medieval Middle East, the mores demand displaying the bloody severed head on a pike just outside the gates to the city.

Either way, the message, however gruesome, is clear. Oh yeah, he’s dead for sure.

And, from the initial reports lauding the achievement & describing the nefarious asshole’s bad acts, I applauded along with everyone else.

As the Washington Post reported the event:

“BAGHDAD, June 8 --Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the mastermind behind hundreds of bombings, kidnappings and beheadings in Iraq, was killed early Wednesday by an airstrike--north of Baghdad, U.S. and Iraqi officials said Thursday.

“U.S. warplanes dropped two 500-pound bombs on a house in which Zarqawi was meeting with other insurgent leaders. A U.S. military spokesman said coalition forces pinpointed Zarqawi's location after weeks of tracking the movements of his spiritual adviser, Sheik Abdul Rahman, who also was killed in the blast.

“Following the attack, coalition forces raided 17 locations in and around Baghdad, seizing a ‘treasure trove’ of information about terror operations in the country, U.S. Army Major Gen. William B. Caldwell IV told reporters at a military briefing here. Some of the raids focused on targets the United States had been using to monitor Zarqawi's location, Caldwell said.

“The stated aim of Zarqawi, 39, in addition to ousting foreign forces from Iraq, was to foment bloody sectarian strife between his fellow Sunni Muslims and members of Iraq's Shiite majority, a prospect that has become a grim reality during the past several months.

“His killing is the most significant public triumph for the U.S.-led military coalition in Iraq since the 2003 capture of Saddam Hussein, although analysts warned that Zarqawi's death may not stem the tide of insurgency and violence any more than Hussein's capture did. Copying Osama bin Laden's leadership strategy, Zarqawi set up numerous semi-autonomous terrorist cells across Iraq, many of which could continue operating after his death.

“Underscoring the threat of continued violence, an explosion ripped through a busy outdoor market in Baghdad just a few hours after Zarqawi's death was announced. The blast, in a predominantly Shiite neighborhood, killed at least 19 people and wounded more than 40, the Associated Press reported. It was followed by several other bombings around the city, which according to news reports killed several people.

“Speaking from the Rose Garden several hours later, President Bush praised the U.S.-led coalition for continuing to pursue Zarqawi through ‘years of near-misses and false leads.’"
“Bush echoed Iraqi and U.S. military leaders in cautioning that Zarqawi's death would not in itself halt the bloodshed in Iraq.

“’We can expect the terrorists and insurgents to carry on without him,’ Bush said in his Rose Garden statement, a somber yet celebratory appearance for which he was joined by several of his top aides, including Vice President Cheney, national security adviser Stephen Hadley and Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove. ‘Yet the ideology of terror has lost one of its most visible and aggressive leaders.’
“Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld told reporters in Brussels that the killing of Zarqawi eliminated ‘the leading terrorist in Iraq and one of the three senior al-Qaeda leaders worldwide.’
“In a news conference after a NATO meeting, he said, "I think arguably over the last several years, no single person on this planet has had the blood of more innocent men, women and children on his hands than Zarqawi.’

“It was not immediately clear how many people in addition to Zarqawi were killed in the bombing of the house in the rural village of Hib Hib, about 55 miles northwest of Baghdad. Maliki initially said the toll included Zarqawi and seven others. In Caldwell's briefing, hours later, he indicated that a total of six people were killed -- Zarqawi, Rahman and four others, including a woman and child, whose identities had not yet been determined.”

On the verge of losing the American public’s confidence in the righteousness of the cause due to some American soldiers’ complete disregard for the lives of women & children, as well as the international outcry about Abu Ghraib & secret CIA renditions, this is all very good news for Bushco indeed!

Don’t get me wrong. From all appearances, Zarquawi deserved the death he inflicted on so many others, but why didn’t they take this guy out earlier? Or maybe capture him & try him legally & publically for war crimes? What’s next? And why is all this happening now?

Curious as the proverbial cat I adopted as my avatar here, I had to look further.

Seems that the liberals among us have long had doubts about the facts of the actual existence/details of this alleged mastermind of evil in the Mideast. Read all about an investigation into Zarqawi here if you’re interested:

Also here, where the Demonized Evil Mastermind can hardly manage to get off a few rounds with his gun:

I found all this, BTW, by trying to backtrack to a blog where a credible American newspaper reported on the many times this notorious terrorist was in our sights, as George mentioned himself (& whose existence in Iraq, besides the imaginary WMD’s, was the reason we unilaterally invaded)…BUT, elusive devil that he is, the U.S. couldn’t find him.

The article reported that on several occasions when this demonic figure was found, the matter was referred to the White House…which dropped the ball & did nothing about it.

A self-labelled Counterterrorism site where “experts” contribute also speculated that the standard rules of engagement were dropped in order to finally kill the Beast.

In any event, he, or others like him, have been elected the top demons in Iraq--so what do we do now? Stay the course, of course, as John McCain, who’s gunning for President now, said yesterday. The fear & terrorism card has always played well for the GOP, & McCain has apparently seen the light.

So. Expect more of same.

As the Washington Post also reported:

“Al-Qaeda in Iraq, which had recently rebranded itself as part of a coalition of insurgent groups called the Mujahideen al-Shura Council, had claimed responsibility for hundreds of attacks during the past three years, including many of the deadliest suicide bombings and gruesome beheadings of foreign hostages.

“The group's focus had recently begun to shift from attacks on military forces to the targeting of civilians, most of them Shiites. In an audio statement last week, Zarqawi called for the killing of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the country's most revered Shiite cleric.
U.S. commanders have consistently portrayed al-Qaeda in Iraq as the country's leading insurgent group and made killing Zarqawi and other top leaders a top priority. But military and political leaders were careful to emphasize that his death will not mean the death of the bloody insurgency.

“A statement purportedly from al-Qaeda in Iraq posted Thursday on mosques in Ramadi, a violence-wracked city in western Iraq, claimed that the organization would be led by ‘a new prince’ who had been named by Zarqawi to succeed him in the event of his death. ‘He will be a copy’ of Zarqawi, the statement said.

“Minutes after the Zarqawi's death was announced, the long-debated posts of interior minister, defense minister and national security adviser were filled in a giddy session of parliament. Abdul-Qadir Muhammed Jasim, a Sunni Arab and former Iraqi army commander, was named defense minister, Jawad al-Bolani, a Shiite, was put in charge of the interior ministry and Sheerwan al-Waeli, a Shiite, was named the country's top official for national security. Bolani, unlike his predecessor, Bayan Jabr, is not affiliated with Shiite militias.”

How about THAT interesting buried tidbit! Only “minutes” after the death was announced, Iraq’s cabinet miraculously assembles, after months of bitter infighting! Surely whatever God you believe in is with us now!

Indie news group Consortium News, heretics that they are, dares to question whether the terrorist threat always was, and continues to be, vastly exaggerated for political gain in a lengthy analysis called “Overselling Terror.” Demon Princess invites all to read it after they’ve recovered from the upcoming weekend’s hangovers celebratory:


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