The Death of Zarqawi - Just another opportunity to bash Bush
By John D. Turner
18 Jun 2006

While most celebrated the death of the man responsible for much of the bloody carnage being rained upon the Iraqi people on a daily basis, some in the Democrat Party found it just another exercise in business as usual; excoriating the President.

The dropping of two 500 pound precision-guided bombs put finis to the man Osama bin Laden has described as “the Prince”; the head of al Qaida in Iraq. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi - the man responsible for daily bombings which have killed thousands of Iraqis over the past several years, as well as hundreds of American soldiers. Zarqawi - the man personally responsible for severing the heads of American civilians. Zarqawi – referred to by his followers as “the slaughtering sheik” for his extraordinarily brutal attacks against Iraqi Shiites.

Iraqis police in the mostly Shia Baghdad enclave of Sadr City celebrated by firing their guns in the air. Well they might; Iraqi police and military personnel have been prime targets of Zarqawi’s “insurgency”, along with members of the Iraqi government. While roadside bombs have been picking off Americans by the ones and twos, bombs planted in marketplaces, restaurants, and recruiting stations have been killing Iraqis by the score.

Now the butcher is dead. With luck, they will hold a public funeral. The guest list of mourners should read like a hit list of others who deserve the same treatment. Except that the guest list may also contain some of our own elected officials who, if they actually attended, would of course do so at taxpayer expense.

While I doubt that they would actually go so far as to do so (even Democrats wouldn’t be that crass, would they?), expressions of sympathy have been forthcoming. And expressions of, well, I can’t exactly call it “happiness” that the monster is slain, have been very carefully worded so as not to extend the slightest credit to George Bush and the Republican administration for having anything to do at all with the actual deed.

As reported in the Washington Times, Representative Pete Stark, Democrat from California claimed that the termination of Zarqawi “is just to cover Bush’s [rear] so he doesn’t have to answer for Iraqi civilians being killed by the U.S. military and his own sagging poll numbers.” Representative Dennis Kucinich, Ohio Democrat, who was a candidate for his party’s presidential nomination in the last election, stated that Zarqawi, who was actually from Jordan, was “a small part” of “a growing anti-American insurgency”. Both men concluded with the opinion that it is time for us to get out of Iraq – a standard Democrat talking point as we head into the fall election season.

Others, such as Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, Senator Barbara Boxer of California, Representative John Murtha of Pennsylvania, and Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, who stands to become House Majority Leader if the Democrats can take the House in the upcoming elections, all echoed the same sentiment; it’s time to “bring the boys home”.

It doesn’t matter if we have success on the battlefield or disaster. The mantra is the same. It’s time to cut and run.

Of course, it typically isn’t put in such bald and crass terms. Senator Kerry:

"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."

Excuse me Mr. Kerry, but what you are bloviating about is exactly what has been going on in Iraq. Iraqis have been standing up for Iraq, and have been being blown into great bleeding chunks of meat by al-Zarqawi and others of his ilk. While you have been pontificating safely here on the sidelines in the States, Iraqi politicians have been living under constant threat of assassination. Many have been killed. Many have had family members killed. How eager would you be to assume office if it meant a serious threat against your life and those you hold dear?

We have been working with the new Iraqi government. Despite all the attempts by Zarqawi and others, the Iraqi army and police force is being trained and stood-up. The ultimate objective is for them to bring the factions together, end the insurgency, and run their own government. And yes, bringing our combat troops home is the desired end-game, as they are going to be needed elsewhere in what is looking to be the on-going war not just on “global terror”, but on Islamo-fascism. Not by some arbitrary deadline such as “by the end of the year”, as you suggest, but rather “when the job is done”.

The mainstream press has followed the same line, downplaying Zarqawi’s significance in the on-going Iraqi “insurgency”, and reminding everyone that his death solves nothing because “another will just step forward to take his place”. Some have even suggested that Zarqawi actually wasn’t al Qaida’s fair-haired boy in Iraq; that there was bad blood between him and bin Laden and that killing him may have, in fact, been a boon to al Qaida.

Perhaps. Still, I find it interesting that this sentiment didn’t surface in the media until after Zarqawi’s death. As if to say “that bird-brain Bush – still can’t get it right, can he”?

So, despite the fact that another will step forward to take his place, and leaving out whether or not al Qaida will ultimately benefit, let’s examine exactly what Zarqawi’s death has bought us:

Of course, the liberal bloggers and conspiracy theorists have wasted no time thinking up alternatives to the reported news, pointing out how “fortunate” it was that, despite dropping two 500-pound bombs, Zarqawi was still in one piece so that he could be easily identified. Obviously, they write, we have had Zarqawi for some time. Bush just wanted to boost his poll numbers, so he had the planes drop a couple of bombs, and then undercover operatives dumped the body there so it would appear that we had just killed him.

The fact that Zarqawi survived the bombing, apparently dying soon after we arrived on the scene makes their idea seem all the more attractive in their minds. It seems that Bush, the bungler, couldn’t even get that right.

It’s interesting that this administration can do nothing right; damned if they win, damned if they lose. If I was the President, and I had bin Laden in my sights, I’m not sure I would pull the trigger if it happened before the November elections. There is no way in the world, if he does, he won’t get slammed in the media for “playing politics”; the conspiracy theorists will go wild. On the other hand, if it is discovered that he could have killed bin Laden – and didn’t because of the political ramifications, he will be excoriated for that as well.

It’s a good thing that the President, say what you may about him, doesn’t really care much about his approval rating. He’s just a man of principle with a job to do. I have no doubt that if he gets bin Laden in his sights, he will pull the trigger, and let the chips fall where they may.

Immediately following the death of Zarqawi the Iraqi parliament approved three new ministers; the defense minister, Interior minister, and Minister of State for National Security, ending a three-week stalemate. Coincidence? I think not. Democrats however, will most likely bill it as yet another brilliantly orchestrated move by that dim-wit Bush to boost his sagging poll numbers here in the US.

Why not? It’s the sort of thing Bill Clinton would have done.