Friday, June 09, 2006

Thoughts on Zarqawi

Steve Benen @ Kevin Drum's place reminds us that we had several chances to take out Zarqawi before, but didn't because doing so would have reduced the momentum toward war. I think that killing him now will not increase momentum away from it.

In the double plus ungood world of Bushtopia, things are rarely what they seem, and good and evil often seem to trade places.

The junta is trumpeting the death of Zarqawi. By all accounts he was indeed a horrible, evil man. But I have a strong sense that taking him out will have exactly the opposite effect from that intended.

I suspect that the folks charting our hapless course are very much still in a mid-20th century mindset in their approach to this new enemy. It would not surprise me in the least if they expect the effect of Zarqawi’s execution to be much like the intended effect when the good guys tried to take out Hitler with a briefcase bomb back in1944 -- strike the head, the body falls.

But Al Qaeda isn’t the Nazi nation state. The hundreds or thousands of terror groups we have helped to motivate are not Al Qaeda. And the thousands of insurgents who currently simmer the unrest in Iraq are not (all) terrorists.

If the violence in Iraq continues unabated --- and my guess is it will -- the killing of Zarqawi may come back to haunt the Bush cabal. It will serve as proof that yet another aspect of their “strategy” is pointless, and that the dandelion analogy will moot all of our attempts to defeat violence with violence. And when “victories” such as this do not translate in to reduced body counts or troop withdrawals, the Zarqawi hit will start looking as pointless as the infamous “Mission Accomplished” banner.

Oh, and doesn’t the fact that Zarqawi was fingered by his own people suggest that Al Qaeda used us to pick up an easy twofer – eliminate a rival/problem while gaining a useful martyr, all without appearing to take out one of their own? It sounds to me like Tony Soprano leaked about a troublesome rival boss to the feds. I don’t know enough to say, but it all sounds too pat -- I could easily imagine that this is a classic tactical victory contributing to a strategic defeat.


Blogger Eric Soderstrom said...

There it is, I was waiting for it.

So did you hear Mr. Rumsfeld yesterday?

By LOLITA C. BALDOR Associated Press Writer
© 2006 The Associated Press
BRUSSELS, Belgium — Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Thursday that while the death of terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is a significant victory in the war on terror, it won't end terrorism…

…"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," said Rumsfeld.

Um, I’ll take that argument. There should be a word for this type of thing like we have for non-denial denials. Like Neo-con irony or something.

That and Fox has the video of him fumbling with the AK running in heavy rotation (yes, this is foxnewsworthy to me) and I've heard them describe his death by saying things like, 2 500 pound bombs later, he was toast.

3:14 PM  
Blogger bluememe said...

I had exactly the same reaction when I saw the quote, esoder. I think I even said it out loud while reading the paper this morning. Good catch.

3:33 PM  

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