Friday, June 09, 2006

Zarkawi Bombs! "Hey, Pull Yourself Together!"

The reactions to America's effective silencing of the mass-murdering thug-enforcer, al-Zarqawi, have been varied and... 'interesting'!

They range from Americans and freedom-loving people cheering for joy, to leftists and appeasers and defeatists whining...

My favorite leftist, however, is Christopher Hitchens, and his left-leaning opinions rarely bother me because it is the CLARITY of his THOUGHT that makes him stand in stark contrast to so many other looney leftist moonbats!


Response ONE: Hugh Hewitt & Guest

Response TWO: Christopher Hitchens

Update: June 10: 0957: Hewitt Text:

“Joel Achenbach is the most popular blogger for by far, I'm told, by people who know. He gets the most attention. And I went to see what he had to say this morning. He posted at 9:38AM Eastern time, and here are his first two paragraphs, and you can read this at, America.

“The military briefing this morning featured footage of the bombing of Musab al-Zarqawi's hideout. We've become familiar with this kind of image - the jet fighter's view of the terrain, the target in the middle of the screen, the flash of light, the erupting cloud of smoke and dust. American fighters hit Zarqawi's lair with a 500 pound bomb, and then, after pondering the situation, sent another 500 pound bomb to bounce the rubble. Six bodies were later found,… including that of an unidentified child. One body definitely belonged to Zarqawi. American Soldiers identified him every which way from scars to fingerprints."

Paragraph two. "But no human beings are visible in that jet fighter footage. I actually couldn't tell what I was looking at. It could have been a warehouse demolition in Tulsa. It was an impersonal obliteration. You could argue that it was the opposite of Zarqawi's style of killing. He preferred to murder hostages by beheading them in front of a video camera.”

What is he talking about, Mark Steyn?

MS: Well, this man is disgusting. And to hell with him, frankly. I find it harder and harder as the days go by to take this kind of talk. You know, the Archbishop of Canterbury made this point. He said that the terrorists and the United States Air Force were both equivalent. They were only capable of viewing people at a distance. The guy in the plane, with all those anonymous buildings as little blips on the radar screen, on the GPS positioning thing way below him, he has more understanding of the humanity there.

He knows which is the schoolhouse. He knows which is the hospital. He knows which is the restaurant. And he knows which is the one building he's allowed to hit.

What's interesting to me about the people we're up against is they look you in your eyes. Zarqawi can look American hostages, British hostages... poor Margaret Hassan, an Iraqi aid worker, he can look these people in the eye and he fails to recognize their common humanity, and he reaches for his scimitar, and he cuts their throat. The guys at the Beslan school massacre... they looked those kids in the eye, and then they killed them. ... the guy in the plane dropping the 500 pound bomb has more understanding of the common humanity that links us and the Iraqis and all peoples on this Earth than Zarqawi does. So to hell with that twerp at the Washington Post. I've got no time for him on a day like this!”

End quote, Mark Steyn and Hugh Hewitt, today June 9, 2006. Signoff.


The death of Musab al-Zarqawi is excellent news in its own right and even more excellent if, as U.S. sources in Iraq are claiming, it resulted from information that derived from people who were or had been close to him. (And, if that claim is black propaganda, then it is clever black propaganda, which is also excellent news.)

It hasn't taken long for the rain to start falling on this parade. Nick Berg's father, a MoveOn type now running for Congress on the Green Party ticket, has already said that he blames President George Bush for the video-beheading of his own son (but of course) and mourned the passing of Zarqawi as he would the death of any man (but of course, again). The latest Atlantic has a brilliantly timed cover story by Mary Anne Weaver, which tends to the view that Zarqawi was essentially an American creation, but seems to undermine its own prominence by suggesting that, in addition to that, Zarqawi wasn't all that important.

Not so fast.

Zarqawi contributed enormously to the wrecking of Iraq's experiment in democratic federalism. He was able to help ensure that the Iraqi people did not have one single day of respite between 35 years of war and fascism, and the last three-and-a-half years of misery and sabotage. He chose his targets with an almost diabolical cunning, destroying the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad (and murdering the heroic envoy Sérgio Vieira de Melo) almost before it could begin operations, and killing the leading Shiite Ayatollah Hakim outside his place of worship in Najaf. His decision to declare a jihad against the Shiite population in general, in a document of which Weaver (on no evidence) doubts the authenticity, has been the key innovation of the insurgency: applying lethal pressure to the most vulnerable aspect of Iraqi society. And it has had the intended effect, by undermining Grand Ayatollah Sistani and helping empower Iranian-backed Shiite death squads.

Not bad for a semiliterate goon and former jailhouse enforcer from a Bedouin clan in Jordan. There are two important questions concerning the terrible influence that he has been able to exert. The first is: How much state and para-state support did he enjoy? The second is: What was the nature of his relationship with Osama Bin Laden and al-Qaida?

For the defeatists and pacifists, these are easy questions to answer. Colin Powell was wrong to identify Zarqawi, in his now-notorious U.N. address, as a link between the Saddam regime and the Bin-Ladenists. The man's power was created only by the coalition's intervention, and his connection to al Qaida was principally opportunistic. On this logic, the original mistake of the United States would have been to invade Afghanistan, thereby forcing Zarqawi to flee his camp outside Herat and repositioning him for a new combat elsewhere. Thus, fighting against al-Qaida is a mistake to begin with: It only encourages them.

I think that (for once) Colin Powell was on to something. I know that Kurdish intelligence had been warning the coalition for some time before the invasion that former Afghanistan combatants were making their way into Iraq, which they saw as the next best chance to take advantage of a state that was both "failed" and "rogue." One might add that Iraq under Saddam was not an easy country to enter or to leave, and that no decision on who was allowed in would be taken by a junior officer. Furthermore, the Zarqawi elements appear to have found it their duty to join with the Ansar al-Islam splinter group in Kurdistan, which for some reason thought it was the highest duty of jihad to murder Saddam Hussein's main enemies. But perhaps I have a suspicious mind.

We happen to know that the Baathist regime was recruiting and training foreign fighters and brigading them with the gruesome "Fedayeen Saddam." (This is incidentally a clue to what the successor regime in Iraq might have looked like as the Saddam-plus-sanctions state imploded and Baathism itself went into eclipse.) That bomb at the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad, for example, was no improvised explosive device. It was a huge charge of military-grade ordnance. Are we to believe that a newly arrived Bedouin Jordanian thug could so swiftly have scraped acquaintance with senior-level former Baathists? (The charges that destroyed the golden dome of the Shiites in Samarra were likewise rigged and set by professional military demolitionists.)

Zarqawi's relations with Bin Laden are a little more tortuous. Mary Anne Weaver shows fairly convincingly that the two men did not get along and were in some sense rivals for the leadership. That's natural enough: Religious fanatics are schismatic by definition. Zarqawi's visceral hatred of the Shiite heresy was unsettling even to some more mainstream Wahhabi types, as was his undue relish in making snuff videos. (How nice to know that these people do have their standards.) However, when Zarqawi sought the franchise to call his group "al-Qaida in Mesopotamia," he was granted it with only a few admonitions.

Most fascinating of all is the suggestion that Zarqawi was all along receiving help from the mullahs in Iran. He certainly seems to have been able to transit their territory (Herat is on the Iranian border with Afghanistan) and to replenish his forces by the same route. If this suggestive connection is proved, as Weaver suggests it will be, then we have the Shiite fundamentalists in Iran directly sponsoring the murderer of their co-religionists in Iraq. This in turn would mean that the Iranian mullahs stood convicted of the most brutish and cynical irresponsibility, in front of their own people, even as they try to distract attention from their covert nuclear ambitions. That would be worth knowing. And it would become rather difficult to argue that Bush had made them do it, though no doubt the attempt will be made.

If we had withdrawn from Iraq already, as the "peace" movement has been demanding, then one of the most revolting criminals of all time would have been able to claim that he forced us to do it. That would have catapulted Iraq into Stone Age collapse and instated a psychopathic killer as the greatest Muslim soldier since Saladin. As it is, the man is ignominiously dead and his dirty connections a lot closer to being fully exposed. This seems like a good day's work to me.

by Christopher Hitchens

Some actual talking points from the kos kollective:

Right now, I'm in the media room at YearlyKos, listening to liberal bloggers and activists fret about how to spin the killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Some snippets:

"We are constantly bashed (criticized) on the right for not supporting the military."

"We can't say 'yes, but...' " As in, yes it's good Zarqawi is dead, but . . .

"Why have we not gotten Osama?"

"Zarqawi is not about Iraq." As in, the real reason we wanted him dead was the USS Cole bombing.

"We're talking to the 98 percent of the unwashed who don't know what the Cole is." In response to above.

"If we'd followed Clinton's anti-terrorism plan, we would have gotten Zarqawi years ago." As in, without going into Iraq.

"If you keep looking for someone long enough, you'll find him."

Zarqawiwi Timeline:

Mid-1990s: Returns to Jordan, is arrested, solidifies radical ideology in prison. Shares cell block with militant cleric Isam Mohammed al-Barqawi, known as Abu Muhammed al-Maqdisi. Adopts extremist strain of Islam that brands enemies as "infidels" worthy of death.

1999: Returns to Afghanistan after prison release. Forms links with al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden.

Late 2001: Flees Afghanistan during U.S.-led ouster of Taliban. Passes through Iran to Iraq. Oct. 2002: U.S. diplomat Laurence Foley slain in Jordan, believed to be first terror operation by al-Zarqawi followers.

Feb. 2003: Secretary of State Colin Powell, in presentation to U.N. Security Council, cites al-Zarqawi presence in Iraq as proof of link between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida. U.S. counterterrorism officials later cast doubt on connection.

Aug. 2003: Al-Zarqawi group, called "Monotheism and Jihad," stages suicide attacks on U.N. headquarters in Baghdad and Shiite shrine in Najaf, seen by many as start of Iraqi insurgency.

April 2004: Beheads U.S. hostage Nicholas Berg, posts videotape of killing on Internet.

May 18, 2004: Car bomb by al-Zarqawi followers assassinates president of now-disbanded Iraqi Governing Council.

July 2004: United States sets $25 million bounty for al-Zarqawi.

Sept. 2004: Beheads U.S. hostage Eugene Armstrong, posts videotape of killing on Internet.

Oct. 2004: Vows fealty to bin Laden, changes name of group to "al-Qaida in Iraq."

Feb. 2005: Suicide bombing against Iraqi security recruits in Hillah kills 125. Claimed by al-Qaida in Iraq, is single deadliest attack of insurgency.

Nov. 9, 2005: Triple suicide bombing against hotels in Amman, Jordan, kills 60, mostly Sunni Muslims. Attack draws criticism from fellow Islamic militants.

Jan. 5, 2006: Al-Zarqawi fighters blamed for string of suicide bombings against Shiites in holy city of Karbala and police station north of Baghdad, killing at least 130. Attacks came weeks after parliament election.

Jan. 2006: Announcement that Al-Zarqawi movement joining umbrella organization of Iraqi insurgents called the Shura Council of Mujahedeen. Seen as attempt to give Iraqi face to al-Qaidi in Iraq, believed to be mainly non-Iraqi, Arab fighters.

May, 2006: Karridine posts sarcastic and humiliating report of Zarkman’s downgrading and imminent departure: “Waiting for the Blow to Fall! (Zarkman’s Lament)

June 7: Al-Zarqawi and several aides killed in targeted U.S. air strike. Followers vow to continue so-called holy war.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uhm, like, you going to POST anything by Hitchens? Watts going on?

Friday, June 09, 2006 4:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Chris Hitch said...

no, he's NOT going to post my stuff, but I appreciate his plug

he writes his stuff, and I write mine
you don't like it? Start your own blog, they're free all over the net

Karridine, you just keep on doin' what'cha doin, homeslice

ya done good

Friday, June 09, 2006 10:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Joe Anfo said...

great picture!

we see now why the fuss over the Mo Cartoons. They can be put to good use for many years to come

I noticed one of the pics from the recent Toronto terror cell arrests looked like one of the cartoons, and wondered if that was why it was used

Friday, June 09, 2006 10:17:00 AM  

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