« Wanna Win the War? Sacrifice Bush | Main | American Forces Should Withdraw in Six Months »

November 20, 2005


If he is dead, good. At least for one day (and only one) the war in Iraq has something to do with the war on Terror.

And if he is dead, it means very little in terms of the progress in the Iraq war. He is a terror opportunist that has little to do with the causes of strife in Iraq, althouhg he dishes out a disproportionate share of it.

It's sad, but I have to observe that the timing is very questionable. Condi goes to Mosul and surprise!, we may have gotten al-Zarqawi there. We'll know it by the fact that there is either remnants of either one artificial leg. Or not.

It is horrible that it's reached a point where I can't take this at face value. Observers will disagree over precisely who this reflects on.

dmbeaster, while I share your viewpoint on the problems of the war, this is one area where good news should be accepted as good news for its own sake. No, "yes, but..."

Of course, the same criteria should apply to the AM radio crowd who will claim this is proof that there are no problems of substance at all...

No, "yes, but..."

Yes, but...;^)

Seriously, I would be overjoyed. But when I read this in the article

In Washington, a U.S. official said the identities of the terror suspects killed in the Saturday raid was unknown. Asked if they could include al-Zarqawi, the official replied: "There are efforts under way to determine if he was killed."

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information.

I get very nervous.

It'd be nice if it were true, but does anyone remember how the resistance was supposed to crumble once Saddam was caught?

I'm skeptical about the reports, but I'm even more skeptical about the importance of Zarqawi himself. Sure, he's a genuine baddie, but he was also the poster-boy for the Al-Qaida--Saddam connection; as the US military has talked up his importance in the insurgency, I've wondered about post hoc propaganda.

Juan Cole's "Dossier on Zarqawi" has not been updated for 2005, despite the near constant barrage of articles about the guy--but I don't pretend to know anything about Cole's criteria for inclusion there.

For a truly cynical read on Zarqawi, I recommend the always amoral Gary "War Nerd" Brecher. "Mister Big Unplugged." His basic take is that both the Pentagon and the real insurgency leaders find it convenient to focus attention on mythical "Mister Big" types, which results in the Pentagon's overstating the threat and the public jihadist interface's over-glorifying his importance.

As I recall, last time I linked to the War Nerd, Hilzoy was horrified by the writer's moral depravity, so consider yourselves warned.

Of course it's great news if Z is taken out -- we can only hope that his replacement is equally clueless about the proper ratio between will and skill. You have to wonder whether real insurgents have had second thoughts about Z after that Jordan attack.


Yeah, you're right, sort of...

I keep waiting for the government propoganda machine to kick in about the alleged death (which now seems not to be the case from more recent updates). Just like Cheney telling us the insurgency is in its last throes, or all of the other official disinformation campaigns that the Bushies seem to love -- which are aimed at the American people.

Like Tilman, Lynch, or the role of the psyops people in the toppling of the Saddam statute. Or this example from Gulf War I -- the intentionally phony story about mistreatment of babies cooked up by operatives for Bush, senior, to create war fever.

So, yes, it is a case of "I had to hit them because I thought they were going to hit us first." But I think its fair to at least flinch in response to good news because of the record of deceit by these people.

I think its fair to at least flinch in response to good news because of the record of deceit by these people.
Hey, I won't fault you for that. I feel the same way most of the time. Part of me just tries to avoid getting so jaded as to fail to appreciate good news for what it's worth, even if, as others above have mentioned, it might not be worth all that the propaganda machine claims....

Is he dead? I hope so.

And, in general, I don't hope for people to be dead.

Hilzoy, I feel the same way, and I also don't generally have other people's deaths on the top of my wish list.

It may take some of the wind out of the sails of the true foreign terrorists in Iraq.

Unfortunately, despite all the hype coming from the administration, they are really a rather insignificant part of the insurgency.

And, considering the number of high al-qaeda officials we have captured and killed over the last three years, there seems to be a near inexhaustible supply of reserves for them to throw in there.

So well, yes, I perceive it as good news, I do not consider it fabulous news.

It'd be kinda funny if he was killed, and out of habit the Pentagon hype machine made the mistake of feeding the news through its usual spin template, resulting in the announcement that we'd killed 'Al Qaeda In Iraq's #3 Man'.

The comments to this entry are closed.