Friday, June 09, 2006

Seven Articles in New York Times Re Zarqawi

And that was only the count in the online NYT. God knows how many stories are in the print edition. But, as one article said, “It was the most purely good news out of Iraq in months”. The Prez’s top henchmen, Karl Rove, Dan Bartlett, Nicolle Wallace and Joel Kaplan, were all “smiling and jovial” as they postured for the big announcement. AOL’s Welcome Screen could hardly contain itself. “Is al-Zarqawi’s death a turning point in the war in Iraq?” it shouted. And 53% of responders said "Yes". However, terrorism expert Michael Clarke was quoted in the Washington Post saying, “If Zarqawi had been killed a year ago, I would be much more positive about the effects of his death than I really can be now." Regarding that “turning point” question: What on earth do those folks who said “Yes” expect will come from Zarqawi’s death? It won’t turn our president into an intelligent leader. It won’t make the insurgency any less intent on killing American soldiers. It won’t change Iraq into a self-sufficient and secure nation. Zarqawi’s death means only that Zarqawi is dead. But the civil war in Iraq and the killing of Americans will go on as intense as before. There is one thing that the death of Zarqawi will do. It will further convince the Bush administration that Osama bin Laden should never, no never, be caught and/or killed by the US. The much-anticipated demise of Osama, in reality, would be just another empty victory signifying nothing. Zarqawi was shown to be a warrior who couldn’t shoot straight and Osama is a sick and prematurely old man. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Osama bin Laden and George W. Bush all qualify for being latter-day examples of The Great Oz. They do not lead, they are symbols of leadership. And their realms are run by others.

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