Friday, June 09, 2006

Zarqawi's Death Reactions

I'm a bit mystified at the number of articles that have taken the killing of Zarqawi as a lever to bash the Bush administration. I'm not particularly surprised by the likes of IslamOnline.
The death of Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi in a US air strike was seen by analysts, Democrats and ordinary Americans as another "mission accomplished" and a golden opportunity for the Bush administration to say once again "ladies and gentlemen we got him" in yet another propaganda victory for President George W. Bush.

They said the announcement on Thursday is a reminder of the US propaganda of the capture of ousted Iraqi president Saddam Hussein just to divert public attention from an unpopular war and the latest American disgraces in Iraq: the killing of innocent civilians in cold blood.

"So, it's another 'mission accomplished'," writes famed British columnist Robert Fisk in The Independent of Friday, June 9.

"The man immortalized by the Americans as the most dangerous terrorist since the last most dangerous terrorist, is killed - by the Americans. A Jordanian corner-boy who could not even lock and load a machine gun is blown up by the US Air Force - and Messrs Bush and Blair see fit to boast of his demise," he said.

To this have our leaders descended. And how short are our memories. They seek him here, they seek him there."

Yes, the whole article is like that. Pretty much, if you want to see a quote by a conspiracy theorist or a crackpot, they are there as testimony to the "truth."

The US liberal press, on the other hand, would have been expected to congratulate the military and then be quite. That would give the Bush administration as little positive press on the topic as possible.

This Salon article is pretty much the standard fair. I especially like this bit of perspective:
There is a sense that righteous liberal fury at Bush and his war sometimes produces a level of confusion over how to react to the news from Iraq, especially when it involves unequivocal victories such as the killing of Zarqawi. Certainly a segment of the antiwar left fears that any progress in Iraq will quiet demands for U.S. withdrawal and needlessly prolong American involvement in the war.

This viewpoint -- and let's not deny that some Salon readers hold it -- is akin to the old-time Marxist notion that a Depression is a good thing because it highlights the contradictions in the capitalist system.

Worth recalling is Colin Powell's invocation before the invasion of Iraq of what he called the Pottery Barn rule: "You break it, you own it." Americans, regardless of their 2003 views on the merits of the war, do have a collective responsibility for Iraq. This is not stay-the-course blather, but an honest recognition that morality is not necessarily served by an intemperate withdrawal, leaving those Iraqi dreamers who believed in American promises to fend for themselves.

Yes, the invasion and occupation of Iraq was a terrible mistake, undertaken by the Bush high command for paranoid reasons and conducted with stunning and willful incompetence.

So they get in the jab about paranoia and incompetence. I think I'll have to remember to throw those two around for every single mistake, minor or otherwise when there is a Democrat in the Oval Office. Bush has made some mistakes, and some very irritating ones, but that doesn't make him incompetent.

The liberal Politicos haven't been very smart on this either. Let's quote one of our favorite Massachusetts Senators.
Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) from a press release. Kerry’s saw the al-Zarqawi's killing as opening the door to the withdrawal of U.S. forces:

"Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was a brutal terrorist and his death strikes a blow to al-Qaeda in Iraq. This ruthless thug who abused the true meaning of Islam was an intruder on Iraqi soil and it's good news that he's dead. Our troops did an incredible job hunting him down and destroying him, and all of America is proud of their skill and commitment.

"With the end of al-Zarqawi and the confirmation of the final vital cabinet ministries in Iraq's new government, it’s another sign that it's time for Iraqis to stand up for Iraq, bring the factions together, end the insurgency, and run their own country. Our troops have done their job in Iraq, and they’ve done it valiantly. It's time to work with the new Iraqi government to bring our combat troops home by the end of this year."

That's right. Now that Zarqawi is dead, bring home the troops. Murtha was on the bullhorn on that topic as well. Nancy Pelosi thinks this should start a debate on Iraq Policy.
We are proud of our troops for their tireless work. Their efforts should be commended and their sacrifices should be honored. But the security situation on the ground continues to threaten the safety of our troops. Several hours after Zarqawi's death, 19 Iraqis were killed and 40 were wounded in a roadside bombing in Baghdad. These deaths are a stark reminder of the ongoing violence facing our brave men and women in uniform.
Well, if you can spin it negative she did exactly that. She also starts throwing around the incompetence insults with regards to the Dept. of Veterans Affairs losing personal information from military troops.

It's pretty easy to go on here. I'd say that any politician spinning this negative should know that there are a lot of moderate voters who will take a dim view of the statements. If they choose to continue, they are likely to do more damage than good.

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