June 8, 2006


The Death of Zarqawi (David Corn, 6/08/06, The Nation)

Bush was reasonably realistic when he spoke about the successful strike: "Zarqawi is dead, but the difficult and necessary mission in Iraq continues. We can expect the terrorists and insurgents to carry on without him. We can expect the sectarian violence to continue."

He did add, "Zarqawi's death is a severe blow to al Qaeda. It's a victory in the global war on terror." But Bush did not mention that it was his invasion of Iraq that fully allied Zarqawi with al Qaeda. Prior to the war, terrorism experts considered Zarqawi more of a rival than a partner. And he did not mention that four years ago--before Zarqawi had become a major terrorist figure and before he had become responsible for the deaths of hundreds (if not thousands)--the Bush White House chose not to take him out when it could.

The 'War of the Future' (Editorial, September 21, 1998, The Nation)
Even before the smoke cleared from the recent US missile attacks we were told to brace ourselves for a newly declared "war on terrorism," the "war of the future." From the lips of Bill Clinton, from his Secretaries of State and Defense, from his National Security Adviser, from Congressional Republicans and Democrats alike, we were informed that the Tomahawk missiles targeted on the supposed terrorist training camps in Afghanistan and the alleged chemical weapons plant in Sudan were but the opening shots in what would be a prolonged twilight struggle against the shadowy forces of fundamentalist terror.

For all its rhetorical burnishing, from the legal, moral, even geopolitical perspective, this latest pyrotechnic spasm is a gift to America's worst enemies, has no prospect of achieving positive results and tramples on the United Nations charter. [...]

The military action ordered by President Clinton must be unequivocally condemned. Such "demonstration strikes," aimed at satisfying the public's and the pundits' demand for revenge and action, have negligible military value. The Soviets spent years trying to wipe out the same camps targeted by our one missile strike.

These sorts of actions not only invite retaliation, they elevate the intended targets to the status of mythical heroes of resistance, isolating moderates and undermining their careful attempts in Iran and elsewhere to move their nations a step back from militant theocracy. American pundits might downplay any Wag the Dog implications of these attacks, but what other conclusion can millions of ordinary Muslims reach than that Clinton was trying to divert attention from his domestic woes?

Most important, the unilateral missile attacks on Afghanistan and Sudan are illegal and immoral--violations of international law and the UN charter. They reinforce the notion that Washington considers itself Cop of the World, a rogue superpower appropriating the right to bomb anyone at will. This ties in with US maneuvers this summer to sabotage the founding of an effective international criminal court, despite the wishes of the majority of the UN General Assembly.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 8, 2006 3:09 PM

Nor can Zarqawi be easily replaced. He had a kind of rogue-ish charisma that resonated in the Arab world. He was featured in Arabic-language pop songs and feted on Arabic soap operas. His persona drew hundreds of Saudis, Syrians and other foreigners to fight alongside him in Iraq. There is simply no one else in the organization who has his aura.

- Richard Miniter today via HumanEventsOnline

Posted by: BJW at June 8, 2006 3:55 PM

"And he did not mention that four years ago--BEFORE Zarqawi had become a major terrorist figure and BEFORE he had become responsible for the deaths of hundreds (if not thousands)--the Bush White House chose not to take him out when it could."

Bush didn't kill him before he did the crimes that.... oh nevermind, this is a brilliant piece of leftist logic.

I feel that sometime in the future David Corn may become a major terrorish and become responsible for the deaths of hundreds... so please, oh pleeeassee, Bush take him out now.

Posted by: lebeaux at June 8, 2006 5:15 PM

In related news, Bush is blamed by the Media for not taking out Adolf Hitler. After all Bush was born after Hitler's reign, therefor Bush must have known all about Hitler's crimes. Clearly an impeachable offense.

Posted by: lebeaux at June 8, 2006 5:26 PM

David Corn is still extant? I thought the 666 people would have taken him home by now.

Posted by: erp at June 8, 2006 6:25 PM

Of course the Nation people are upset about this. Super High-tech electronic surveillance followed up by PGM's.

Sorry comrades. that's what the end of history looks like.

Posted by: Lou Gots at June 8, 2006 6:39 PM

"The majority of the UN General Assembly..."

I thought I smelled a global test. I guess we flunked. Too bad for Zarqawi.

In related news, President Bush thought about calling his lawyer....and then decided not to.

Posted by: jim hamlen at June 8, 2006 6:52 PM

Give them credit for consistency, at least. They opposed killing Islamofascist terrorists even when it was William Jefferson Clinton, Greatest President of the 20th Century, Moral Paragon of the Left, and Tireless Defender of A Woman's Right To Choose(tm) who did the killing.

Posted by: Mike Morley at June 9, 2006 8:00 AM