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Excuse me if I don’t join the orgy of self-congratulatory praise over the lucky bombing death of Iraq al Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
From all the hoopla, you’d think we nailed Osama bin Laden.
Osama bin who? Laden. You remember him. The man President George W. Bush declared he wanted dead or alive. The Afghan cave dweller, number one terrorist in the world, the one the government tells us was responsible for the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
Wasn’t he target number one? The one we’ve been trying to capture since that fateful fall day? You wouldn’t know it from the rabid rhetoric that flowed out of Washington like diarrhea on Thursday.
"One of the most brutal, heinous, and horrendous terrorists was killed last night when the U.S. Armed Forces delivered 500-pounds of justice to Iraq’s ‘Prince of Al-Qaeda’ on behalf of Nicholas Berg, Jack Armstrong, Ken Bigley, Jack Hensley and the thousands of others who were beheaded, tortured, and killed by Al-Zarqawi and his henchmen," said a statement from Rep. Jack Kingston, a wordy Republican from Georgia.
Sen. George Allen of Virginia, another rhetoric-ready Republican, added to the din:
"Al-Zarqawi was more than the thuggish voice we heard on video tapes," Allen said. "He was the vile mastermind, operational leader and murderous participant in a vast number of terrorist activities that beheaded, bombed, maimed and killed not only Americans but other peace-loving people in Iraq and elsewhere." Allen is running for President so he has to ramp up the rhetoric.
So does Tennessee Senator Bill Frist, the so-called Majority Leader of the Senate.
"Our military forces are to be commended for their dedication to eradicating the terrorist network in Iraq," Frist said. "Today’s success in eliminating the thuggish terrorist Al-Zarqawi is a sure sign that they are on the way to accomplishing that goal."
What all these self-congratulatory pats on the back overlook is that al-Zargawi was a has-been, a glory-hog who had fallen out of favor with the leadership of al-Qaeda, a man who had become so despised by his fellow terrorists that they turned him in and allowed a willing U.S. military to track him, kill him and turn him into the only value he had left – as a martyr.
Our military had been trying, in vain, to find Zargawi for years – without luck. Then, by their own admission, they got a tip from an informant within the al Qaeda network that allowed them to pinpoint a safe house where he met with associates. Two 500-pound bombs later, he’s dead and we’re declaring victory over insurgency in Iraq.
But another 30 people died in Iraq on Thursday after Zargawi’s death and those who seem to understand the terrorist mind a hell of a lot better than our self-proclaimed experts say the violence will not only continue but escalate.
George W. Bush, of course, hails Zargawi’s death as a "major blow" in his manufactured "war on terrorism." But Bush conveniently leaves out the fact that Zargawi had nothing to do with the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and did not become a factor in al Qaeda until U.S. troops stormed into Iraq in a war based on lies and false intelligence.
We gave Zargawi the tools he needed to become a force in Iraqi terrorism. Now, as a willing pawn manipulated by terrorists who are a hell of a lot smarter than our so-called leaders, we’ve given those he left behind even more reasons to kill and maim.
When the din from the all the self-serving political rhetoric dies down, the blood will continue to flow and more American blood will be mixed with that of innocent Iraqi civilians.