We awake to the news of the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Dawn and I both are immediately pleased by his death. Then we both have second thoughts. Dawn regrets her enthusiasm at the death of a fellow human being, no matter how repugnant that human being may have been. She’s a good person. I regret that Zarqawi’s death will in any way reflect well on the President and the conduct of the war. I’m not such a good person.

I actually don’t know much about Zarqawi, except that the President has said that he’s a bad man, that he’s my enemy. I usually don’t believe people when they tell me that someone is my enemy. I’ve heard the name, heard that he’s the man behind the bombings in Jordan, and understand that he’s behind the kidnappings and beheadings of Westerners in Iraq. So, I don’t know about enemy. But repugnant? Without a doubt.

As it happens, the Atlantic Monthly just went up yesterday with a feature story about Zarqawi, so I read that today. Pretty much sums him up as a street-level thug made big. No grand visionary like Osama Bin Laden. And apparently they met and absolutely loathed each other just about right away. Zarqawi’s views on Shi’as were apparently too extreme even for Bin Laden.

So Zarqawi lived by the sword. Violently by the sword. Viciously by the sword. Disgustingly by the sword. And then he died by the sword.

I won’t miss him. Can’t think of anyone who should.

7 thoughts on “Zarqawi

  1. I read an interview yesterday with Michael Berg, the father of Nick Berg, who was supposedly beheaded by this Zarqawi. The interviewer expected that Berg’s dad would feel better, or offer some quotes re: vengeance, etc. Berg’s dad remains a staunch pacifist. He said, (and I’m paraphrasing here) “Why should I feel better that someone else has died? Now his family is grieving as our family grieved over the death of my son.”

    I can’t wrap my head around the concept of someone remaining a pacifist after his son has been beheaded. It’s superhuman, really. I can only imagine how I’d feel if a member of my family had been beheaded. I’d probably want blood, too. But at the end of the day it wouldn’t solve anything.

    The interview is definitely worth seeking out.

    I think that Zarqawi was a terrible guy, a murderer and a real terrorist. I don’t mourn his passing. But after giving it some thought, I object strongly to the sickening habit of putting big framed photographs of dead faces on display for the press, and thus for the world. It seems to me that it cheapens human life. We weren’t looking at a “thing,” we were looking at a dead human. When we get to the point that we can’t see ourselves as the dead body, that’s when we get into trouble.

  2. From his own mouth; ‚ÄúThere is no doubt that Allah commanded us to strike the Kuffar (unbelievers), kill them, and fight them by all means necessary to achieve the goal. The servants of Allah who perform Jihad to elevate the word (laws) of Allah, are permitted to use any and all means necessary to strike the active unbeliever combatants for the purpose of killing them, snatch their souls from their body, cleanse the earth from their abomination, and lift their trial and persecution of the servants of Allah. The goal must be pursued even if the means to accomplish it affect both the intended active fighters and unintended passive ones such as women, children and any other passive category specified by our jurisprudence.”

    So, this guy would rather kill you than look at you, but he’s not “the enemy” because Bush said he was?

    I’m glad you admitted that you would rather the war went bad, that you would rather Americans die than have the President do well. Most of those with BDS (Bush Derangement Syndrome) can’t admit as much.

    I guess if it makes Chimpy look bad, then our troops should all come home draped in Old Glory, huh?

    And you, Paul; do you object strongly to Zarqawi’s video of Nick Berg’s beheading? Or the video of the 4 dead American contractors hanging from the bridge (You know, your buddy Kos’ “screw ’em” guys)?

    Or is shit like that only UNacceptable when BushCo does it? (See BDS above)

  3. Rob:

    The last time I checked, two wrongs don’t make a right. It’s absurd to think that I would not object either to the murders of contractors or to the images of the murders being posted on the internet. I strenuously object to both. And I’ll have you know that I was watching a recent episode of “Bleak House” on PBS. Right after the show ended, they ran a clip of an upcoming episode of “Frontline” that was about atrocities in Iraq (these particular atrocities were conducted by Iraquis, but there are plenty to go around). Before I had time to react, they showed footage of one of those cretins grabbing Nick Berg and putting the knife to his throat.

    I was horrified. Of course I knew that it had happened; I don’t have my head in the sand. But that doesn’t mean that I want to watch it happening. To me, broadcasting of the image on a “news” program doesn’t legitimize it. I was really pissed off; not only because that image was now in my head when I had made a point of avoiding it, but because I was fully aware that some children must have been watching the Dickens classic which had just ended, and now they were confronted with this image that they should not have seen.

    I called the president of Nashville Public Television and left a comment on her voicemail at work. To her credit, she called me back the next night, and we spoke for a while. I asked her if the spot had been created in Nashville; it had not. It was created in Boston, where “Frontline” is produced. She told me that she, too, is sickened by such images, but she also said that she asked other staff members about it, and none of them seemed to be bothered by it. I think that that’s a sign that they are too hardened; they have lost some of their humanity.

    I told her that I am not trying to censor the news. I simply object to the fact that the spot ran right after what I consider a “family” program, and that there was no warning whatsoever that a graphic image was about to be displayed. She agreed that they could do a better job of tying their commercial spots to programs that are better suited.

    Now, I know what you’re thinking; I’m left of center, so I don’t want to live in the real world, and I don’t want to see what these bastards are doing in Iraq. Well, I’ve seen plenty of it already, and I don’t need to see any more to know what death looks like. My God, the insurgents are killing the innocent, our troops are killing the insurgents and plenty of innocents, different Iraqi factions are killing each other. Is this really better than it was under Saddam? I don’t see how.

    It’s true, I can’t stand the president. How I wish that the stupid American public had chosen differently in 2000; we probably would have concentrated on Afghanistan as we should have, and left the Iraq thing alone. But it’s no use blaming it on the Supreme Court; you elect conservatives, and you’re gonna get a conservative court that gives you a conservative president. I don’t blame the court. I blame the good, but extremely short-sighted people who didn’t take a minute while they were in the voting booth to think about the possible horrible consequences of what they were about to do.

    Now we’re stuck with those consequences.

    You can put down those who don’t like Bush all you want, call them “deranged,” or whatever makes you feel better. But the ones on the left were right, and apparently “you just can’t handle the truth.”

  4. the ones on the left were right, and apparently “you just can’t handle the truth.”

    Which ones on what left were right about what?

    I can handle truth, as long as it’s not opinion being passed along as truth; then I call “bullshit.”

    & what a great way for Democrats to win the hearts and minds of the American electorate; keep calling them stupid. Then keep wondering why you’re in the minority.

    Yeah. They’re stupid.

  5. Specifically I meant that the voters on the left side of the political spectrum were right about whether or not to elect George W. Bush president, and whether or not to invade Iraq. Both have been proven to be huge mistakes, and bad for this country.

    You’re correct, I was hasty in referring to those who voted for Bush as “stupid.” I probably shouldn’t have said that. Misguided, misinformed, shortsighted and mistaken, maybe, but not necessarily stupid.

    I’m not so sure that left of center voters are still in the minority. One supposes that the mid-term elections will tell us something, but after the redistricting that has gone on in recent years, and with the advantages that incumbents have, I don’t expect too many seats to change.

    The US electorate is fickle, and these trends are cyclical. When Reagan beat Carter people called it the death of the Democratic party. I’m sure people thought that the Replublican party was dead during the terms of FDR and Truman, too.

    I will admit to sounding arrogrant in my posts. I’m not in the habit of thinking that I’m a know-it-all. But it’s a reaction to this one particular president, and to what he’s done. I don’t hate or even dislike all Republicans. I vehemently dislike this particular president and his administration.

    As for your last paragraph, I don’t know how the Democrats will win the hearts and minds of the American public. One would think that the public would be so sick of right-wing religious fanaticism, goofy opinions on everything from gay marriage to global warming, pollution, war, wiretapping, etc. that they would already be inclined to make a switch. What scares me is that I fear that some people out there actually do vote for the guy or gal that they’d rather have a beer with. Those are the ones that I think are stupid. They aren’t thinking ahead, about whether we’ll have conservative judges, whether we’ll go to war, whether we’ll be a backward-thinking, non-progressive nation; instead they are thinking about whether they’d like to sit with the chief at a bar or a barbecue.

    After the last two elections I’m hardened enough to expect disappointment. But I can always hope for something better. I expect that anyone will be better, except maybe Rick Santorum.

    Anyway, I got too hot in my post yesterday, and made it more personal than I should have. For that, I apologize.

  6. Sixty-two million, forty-thousand, six-hundred and ten people weren’t just stupid. They were incredibly pig-fucking stupid to elect George W. Bush as President of the United States.

  7. You know who has to be Lord.God.King.BuFu.Ricky.Retardo of all pig-fucking stupid people?

    Those who don’t vote, but still bitch about the President.

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