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It Couldn't Have Happened to a Nicer Guy:

Abu Musab Al Zarqawi, head of Al Qaeda in Iraq and a terrorist leader responsible for thousands of deaths in Iraq, Jordan and elsewhere, is confirmed killed in a U.S. airstrike.

Convert:
I dedicate this to Al.

Go To Hell



You're something that never should have happened
You even make your Grandma sick
You'd poison a blind man's dog and steal his cane
You'd gift-wrap a leper
And mail him to your Aunt Jane
You'd even force-feed a diabetic a candy cane
You can go to Hell

You're something that never should have happened
You even make your Grandma sick
For criminal acts and violence on the stage
For being a brat
Refusing to act your age
For all the decent citizens you've enraged
You can go to Hell
6.8.2006 6:58am
Pete Freans (mail):
And oil prices have dropped...Wall Street should always bet on our military.
6.8.2006 8:42am
PersonFromPorlock:
How long before the headline "Zarqawi Airstrike May Have Claimed Innocent Lives" appears, and in which paper?
6.8.2006 8:51am
JustWondering:
@PersonFromPorlock:

And your point is? Didn't I get the memo? Does killing a horrible terrorist mean (1) killing innocents in the process doesn't matter, (2) it might matter but not so much because, hey, tough luck, or (3) in any event, a free press reporting on collateral damage is unpatriotic?
6.8.2006 9:13am
Ugh (mail):
Congratulations to President Bush for making Zarqawi one of the most successful terrorists in history and then killing him, rather than just skipping to the second part before the invasion.
6.8.2006 9:18am
Cornellian (mail):
If Zarqawi thought Iraq was hot, he'll have to revise his opinion once he gets to experience his new residence.
6.8.2006 9:32am
johnt (mail):
just wondering, well at least you got one out of three right, #3 to be exact. You assume that you care about collateral damage and civilian death and someone else doesn't. Thereby establishing your credentials as a more humane person, important doubtless to yourself.
The point made clearly enough by Person From Porlock is the fixation on negativity by elements of the press which when done long and often enough may, just may, open the door to questions about their self touted patriotism.
I fully expect more expressions of a superior sense of humanity, most of which were conspicuously low key when Saddam was in power. But because I expect these pro forma self advertisements I can easily ignore them.
6.8.2006 9:46am
SJA:
I thought Al Qaeda and Iraq had nothing to do with each other
6.8.2006 9:59am
Public_Defender (mail):

Congratulations to President Bush for making Zarqawi one of the most successful terrorists in history and then killing him, rather than just skipping to the second part before the invasion.


Yes, President Bush deserves lots of praise for undersupplying troops to Iraq so that it took years and thousands of needless deaths to do what should have done quickly.

This is a good thing for Iraq. The troops deserve to brag about it. But Bush should be ashamed it took so long and cost so many lives.
6.8.2006 10:06am
johnt (mail):
Ugh, no, not the post, the person.
It is unclear just how Bush made Zarqawi "one of the most"etc. Usually it't the person who does the killing who's responsible for the deaths, what part of the country do you come from? Although easy to assert it is more difficult to prove that Bush "made" Zarqawi do anything. Zarqawi could have "made" himself stay home and do the shopping and house cleaning for his mother. Instead he "made" himself do something quite different.
As for skipping to the second part as you put it, it's a safe bet that Zarqawi didn't want himself killed. This uncooperative attitude may have contributed to the delay. How inconsiderate of him not to inform us of what cave he was hiding in.
6.8.2006 10:09am
JustWondering:
Johnt:

I don't assume anything, let alone credentials as a more humane person. Nice ironic touch to discredit someone with such a baseless allegation, though. Great style.

However, I indeed was--and still am, as a matter of fact--just wondering, why all a person would comment would be:


"How long before the headline "Zarqawi Airstrike May Have Claimed Innocent Lives" appears, and in which paper?"



I don't see how this mere sentence, as a reply to the news of today, contains a "point made clearly enough." Nevertheless, I am glad I guessed (3) right. Thanks for your enlightment about the fixation on negativity.

"They call it CO2, we call it life. They call it accurate and complete news, we call it 'fixation on negativity'."
6.8.2006 10:25am
Marcus1 (mail) (www):
>Usually it't the person who does the killing who's responsible for the deaths, what part of the country do you come from?<

Unless Time publishes a false story about flushing Korans down the toilet; then conservatives blame the media for the ensuing murders (related or not). I think people from all parts of the country are pretty flexible in the arguments they're willing to use...

I guess some civilian deaths here would be justified though, although it's kind of weird to try to say how many. But I'll bet against that becoming a major story...
6.8.2006 10:27am
Mike BUSL07 (mail) (www):
I will now have two memories of Zarqawi: fumbling about with a SAW like a retarded JROTC recruit; and dead-and-stuffed, a la Uday and Qusay.

I hope this doesn't mean that Iowahawk will stop doing letters from (and to) "Zarkman."
6.8.2006 10:30am
Public_Defender (mail):

As for skipping to the second part as you put it, it's a safe bet that Zarqawi didn't want himself killed. This uncooperative attitude may have contributed to the delay. How inconsiderate of him not to inform us of what cave he was hiding in.


But it was very considerate of Bush not to send enough troops to find Zarqawi quickly.
6.8.2006 10:32am
Mike BUSL07 (mail) (www):
Marcus, that's a fetching strawman you are clutching at, but no one here is making that argument re koran flushing. (None of which is to say that Bush didn't make mistakes, or the media wasn't irresponsible, but the murderer is still the one that pulls the cord on the suicide vest.)
6.8.2006 10:37am
Wombat:
As reprehensible as Al-Zarqawi might have been, I can't see this changing much (and may even be worse in the long run). I'm guessing the locals will take the opportunity to eliminate some of the Foreign Fighters during the coming power struggle.

End result: an Insurgency that is increasingly Iraqi born, which the Iraqi government politically will have to view as "Legitimate" (and, in fact, they may truthfully believe that to be the case.) How this helps the American forces on a local or global level, I don't know.

As an aside, the issue no one wants to mention is that the whole region "needs" a couple of decades of solid war to finally sort out the decay of the Ottoman Empire. The downside of this, of course, is the deaths of millions and the near to total elimination of some of the smaller ethnic groups (including relatively pro-Western groups like the Kurds, which would be a double shame).
6.8.2006 10:49am
Houston Lawyer:
What terrorist will the media take direction from now that he's dead?

There's a line from the movie Billy Jack: "Who's in charge now?"

Congratulations to our men and women in the military for a job well done. I hope ya'll have access to your favorite beverage and indulge inappropriately.
6.8.2006 10:50am
Jeek:
it was very considerate of Bush not to send enough troops to find Zarqawi quickly.

The asserted connection between "number of troops" and "finding Zarqawi quickly" is bogus and inane. The troops were not going house-to-house looking for the guy. It is the intelligence organization that finds him, and that organization does not depend on the number of troops in theater for its effectiveness.
6.8.2006 10:50am
Jeek:
As reprehensible as Al-Zarqawi might have been, I can't see this changing much (and may even be worse in the long run).

Yeah, it's hard to see how the elimination of a charismatic leader who kept taunting us on our inability to catch him makes us any better off.
6.8.2006 10:52am
cave locator service:

As for skipping to the second part as you put it, it's a safe bet that Zarqawi didn't want himself killed. This uncooperative attitude may have contributed to the delay. How inconsiderate of him not to inform us of what cave he was hiding in.


Bush didn't want him killed either. See, his "cave" was inconveniently located in the part of Iraq Saddam didn't control. But the ability to say there were known terrorists operating in Iraq was too valuable a propaganda tool. Picking off Zarqawi when we had a clear chance would have taken away a reason to invade Iraq. And we wouldn't have wanted that, now would we?



But NBC News has learned that long before the war the Bush administration had several chances to wipe out his terrorist operation and perhaps kill Zarqawi himself — but never pulled the trigger.

[...]

Military officials insist their case for attacking Zarqawi’s operation was airtight, but the administration feared destroying the terrorist camp in Iraq could undercut its case for war against Saddam.
6.8.2006 10:55am
Silicon Valley Jim:
How long before the headline "Zarqawi Airstrike May Have Claimed Innocent Lives" appears, and in which paper?

My first guess is tomorrow in the San Francisco Chronicle, possibly with a mis-spelling in the headline. My second is Sunday in the New York Times. Third would be next Tuesday in the Los Angeles Times.
6.8.2006 10:58am
KevinM:
SV Jim. The assumption is that there is news that papers supporting the war should suppress? Any paper should publish it, if it's true; shame on the ones that don't. By the way, no hyphen necessary in "mis-spelling."
6.8.2006 11:18am
singin' it:
Wow, I guess I'm SOOOOO much more patriotic because I'm a Republican. Thank God. I mean, there is no way a Democrat or someone who thinks that Bush has faltered in the past few years could EVER be supportive of the raid and death of Zarqawi. And YES, I also want to lambast against the liberal media as well. Let's see, 1)political hackery (check) 2)challenging the patriotism of those who dare to disagree with me (check) 3)bashing the liberal media.

Checklist complete.
6.8.2006 11:19am
EricK:
Yes, President Bush deserves lots of praise for undersupplying troops to Iraq so that it took years and thousands of needless deaths to do what should have done quickly.


How are the troops undersupplied?
6.8.2006 11:36am
johnt (mail):
Just Wondering, Modesty does not become you and as I know my style is already great your comment on it is gratuitous.As was your assumption that you care about civilian deaths but someone else doesn't.
Concerning what you don't see, which i am sure is a rarity in your case, I and my coterie of speechwriters have a policy of never explaing things twice.
This may cause you a sleepless but thoughtful night. Somethings I can't help you with but keep trucking and remember, wondering for some people leads to answers.
6.8.2006 11:44am
Public_Defender (mail):

How are the troops undersupplied?


Not enough of them. Only Donald Rumsfeld seems to think we sent enough troops to do the job right in Iraq.
6.8.2006 11:51am
lee (mail):
Good point about "the decay of the Ottoman Empire." The Ottomans ruled Iraq for four-hundred years(1519-1919)but as THREE provinces. It took French and BRITISH diplomats to try to sew them into one country.
6.8.2006 11:55am
A.S.:
Bush didn't want him killed either.

This is an urban legend that was debunked long ago.

Of course, the truth has never been a strong suit of the "reality-based community".
6.8.2006 12:02pm
N.I.:
Gentle Folk:

The son of a bitch is dead. Can we please all just enjoy the moment while it lasts and put our bickering on hold until tomorrow?

And maybe Osama will be next.
6.8.2006 12:08pm
Mike BUSL07 (mail) (www):

How are the troops undersupplied?



Not enough of them. Only Donald Rumsfeld seems to think we sent enough troops to do the job right in Iraq.

PD, I suspect you possess a strong enough command of English to realize that when someone poses the question, "how are the troops undersupplied?" they are referring to the supplies provided to the troops, not referring to the troops as supplies themselves. So again, how were the troops under-supplied?
6.8.2006 12:17pm
Public_Defender (mail):
This is an urban legend that was debunked long ago.

One Robert Novak column in which Bush administration officials deny the story is not sufficient to "debunk" the story. What's next? Are you going to quote Ken Lay to "debunk" the "Urban Legend" that there was foul play at Enron?
6.8.2006 12:21pm
Truth Seeker:
It would be impossible to kill someone like Zarqawi without killing a few of the innocent people who he is always around. So those who make an issue of any innocent victims are gratuitously trying to harm our troops or our country or of course our President who gets blamed for everything.
6.8.2006 12:21pm
Truth Seeker:
Those with Bush Derangement Syndrome, or whose sympathies are greater for terrorists and their families than for our side would feel more at home in the Democratic Underground than here. But then, like the high school kid with the green Mohawk maybe you like the attention, even if everyone thinks you're weird.
6.8.2006 12:24pm
Humble Law Student:
Congrats to the military for this important victory.
6.8.2006 12:26pm
A.S.:
Let's see, on the one hand, you've got anonymous officials claiming we could have got him. On the other hand, you've got Condoleezza Rice, Assistant Defense Secretary Peter Rodman, Gen. John Abizaid, and CIA Director George Tenet all ON THE RECORD denying it.

Yet, the "reality-based community" chooses to believe the anonymous officals. Got to love the "reality-based community".
6.8.2006 12:29pm
Joshua (www):
Go To Hell

Go Directly To Hell
Do Not Pass "Go"
Do Not Collect 72 Virgins
6.8.2006 12:39pm
SP:
The problem with the "reality based community"'s assertion is that it has flawed logic. If Bush was concerned about terrorists in Iraq as evidence, wouldn't killing the Zarkman have shown that, in fact, there were terrorists in Iraq working with Hussein, and splashed it all over the headlines.

I suspect the real issue is that it would have been rather hard to have actually gotten to Zarqawi, you know him being somewhere in the middle of Iraq and all. And that pesky international law, which apparently we can't break to topple a totalitarian regime, but could break to swoop right in and kill one guy.
6.8.2006 12:41pm
johnt (mail):
Public Defender, just who do you defend and how many of them serve time?
Congrats on not blaming Bush for having ruined Zarqawi's life and plans to dedicate himself to work on a leper colony.
Re your last sentence; Send enough troops, search enough caves = finding him. I must ponder the complexity of that. There is an incongruity however in calling for more troops in a war we are told we should not be fighting. But I guess that's not your position so you may consider the timing.
Although second guessing and hindsight are blessings we should recall that Saddam and his sons were still alive and there was a full scale invasion in the works. Trivial perhaps to the omnicompetent but troublesome to the less gifted. Maybe in blessed retrospect we should have ditched all the other plans and instead gone after a man barely known and down the food chain at that time.
But I suspect some of us would only be gnashing their teeth and faulting something else. Now back to the explicit criticism of Bush despite the accomplishment, and the implicit suggestions that it's Bush's fault that Zarqawi lived at all. Some habits are hard to give up.
6.8.2006 12:46pm
Mr. Mandias (mail) (www):
I wish the inveterate Deaniacs here would take their cue from Dean:

YEEAAARRRGGGHH!
6.8.2006 12:51pm
Silicon Valley Jim:
SV Jim. The assumption is that there is news that papers supporting the war should suppress? Any paper should publish it, if it's true; shame on the ones that don't.

I agree. I was simply answering the question as posed.

What papers supporting the war, by the way? I count the Wall Street Journal, but nobody else.
6.8.2006 12:52pm
Steve in CA (mail):
The Washington Post editorial board supports the war. So does the Chicago Tribune. Also, lots of smaller papers.

I hate to bring up Dean again, but when he said capturing Saddam wouldn't make much difference ... well, he was right, wasn't he?
6.8.2006 1:13pm
Mike BUSL07 (mail) (www):
Steve, it's difficult to tell whether Dean was right, because we don't know how things would have turned out had we not in fact caught Saddam.

Admittedly, I also doubt that Saddam's capture had a great impact, but high profile targets tie up intel resources, so it was nice to get Saddam out of the way and free up the people and money to go after Zarqawi, et. al.
6.8.2006 1:20pm
Mark F. (mail):
So a bad guy got killed. However, this insurgancy is extremely decentralized and will continue. The hawks need to tell us what they would consider a victory. Better yet, they need to go to Iraq and pitch in to this great cause!
6.8.2006 1:27pm
A.S.:
Better yet, they need to go to Iraq and pitch in to this great cause!

And the whiners need to go to Afghanistan and Pakistan to track down the Taliban and bin Laden.
6.8.2006 1:36pm
Mark F. (mail):
George W. Bush, head of the United States government, pathological liar and wannabe dictator, immoral welfare statist, defender of torture and responsible for thousands of deaths in Iraq...is still alive!
6.8.2006 1:37pm
Anderson (mail) (www):
Let's see, on the one hand, you've got anonymous officials claiming we could have got him. On the other hand, you've got Condoleezza Rice, Assistant Defense Secretary Peter Rodman, Gen. John Abizaid, and CIA Director George Tenet all ON THE RECORD denying it.

That is the funniest thing I will read all week. Because, god knows, Rice and Tenet are trustworthy folk, right? Right?

At the very least, ex-CIA dissident Michael Scheuer is as credible, and his confirmation of the MSNBC story was reported just last month:
"Mr Bush had Zarqawi in his sights almost every day for a year before the invasion of Iraq and he didn't shoot because they were wining and dining the French in an effort to get them to assist us in the invasion of Iraq," he told Four Corners.

... "Almost every day we sent a package to the White House that had overhead imagery of the house he was staying in. It was a terrorist training camp . . . experimenting with ricin and anthrax . . . any collateral damage there would have been terrorists."

During the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq, Zarqawi's presence in the north of the country was used by US officials to link Saddam Hussein to terrorism.
But if anybody hasn't noticed by now that we are led by liars and fools, then I very much doubt that this or any other information is going to hone his attention skills.
6.8.2006 1:38pm
Michael B (mail):
"I hate to bring up Dean again, but when he said capturing Saddam wouldn't make much difference ... well, he was right, wasn't he?" Steve in CA

No.

It didn't make much immediate difference and magic didn't occur, but it's a long process which combines a series of some bigger steps (e.g., sons Uday and Qusay Hussein, Hussein captured, Zarqawi now) and a lot of intermittent smaller steps. But if Dean intended to say magic won't occur, yea, he's right, ponderously right.

Also, in the wake of Zarqawi (and six or seven aids) killed, Intelligence Treasure Trove.

"So a bad guy got killed. However, this insurgancy is extremely decentralized and will continue. The hawks need to tell us what they would consider a victory. Better yet, they need to go to Iraq and pitch in to this great cause!" Mark F.

And that would fall in line with you and your keyboard, posting from Afghanistan, as that is something you could support? Or perhaps from southern Sudan? Or Darfur in western Sudan? Or Rwanda? Because of your own exemplary commitments to the "great causes" you believe in and devoted yourself to?
6.8.2006 1:42pm
Public_Defender (mail):
Part of what allowed Zarqawi to survive so long was the chaos caused by Rumsfeld's effort to go to war with smaller number of troops than the Pentagon told him were needed.

It's good that Zarqawi's gone. It's fantastic that Saddam is out of power. The troops deserve praise for that. But Bush deserves blame for trying to go to war on the cheap and making it take so long to get to this point.
6.8.2006 1:56pm
Truth Seeker:
But if anybody hasn't noticed by now that we are led by liars and fools...

Pssst.... only you guys with Bush Derangement Syndrome think that. 59 million voters supported the administration and many of those who didn't, still don't think they're liars and fools, only that the other side's programs were preferable.

Ann Coulter may sometimes say outrageous things to make headlines and sell books, but one thing she got right is that Left wing thinking is a form of mental illness.
What kind of person opposes his own military that protects the country, wants to have higher taxes, wants to stop drilling for oil and have everyone live on less, etc.? Someone who hates himself or feels guilty about his own life.
In high school you oppose the teachers to be cool and be the stand out tough guy rather than the goody honors student. But if you grow up and still find yourself anti- government anti-police, anti-military, then you have a problem.
6.8.2006 2:06pm
A.S.:
At the very least, ex-CIA dissident Michael Scheuer is as credible, and his confirmation of the MSNBC story was reported just last month

OK, I'll stipulate that Scheuer is credible with respect to Bush passing up an opportunity to get Zarqawi, if you'll stipulate that Scheuer is credible with respect to the ten chances Bill Clinton had "to capture Bin Laden or kill him with military means".

Agreed?
6.8.2006 2:06pm
Anderson (mail) (www):
OK, I'll stipulate that Scheuer is credible with respect to Bush passing up an opportunity to get Zarqawi, if you'll stipulate that Scheuer is credible with respect to the ten chances Bill Clinton had "to capture Bin Laden or kill him with military means".

Agreed?


Agreed. Holding no brief for Clinton, I assure you.

In all fairness, even most Republicans appear to distinguish b/t "pre-9/11" and "post 9/11." So the legal scruples of Clinton and Sandy Berger, however misguided, are not so egregious as the deliberate decision of Bush et al. to leave Zarqawi alive in order to bolster their case for invading Iraq. (Tho it was always a stupid idea, since Zarqawi was in the northern no-fly zone.)

As for the misnamed "Truth Seeker," you're having to rely on Bush's *winning an election* as proof that he's trustworthy and good? Jesus. Let's hold an election on Intelligent Design and get THAT issue decided once &for all, shall we?

I guess you were a huge fan of Bill Clinton in his second term as well, right?
6.8.2006 2:14pm
Stonebreaker:
"I hate to bring up Dean again, but when he said capturing Saddam wouldn't make much difference ... well, he was right, wasn't he?" Steve in CA

I imagine it makes a great deal of difference to the families of those who were tortured, raped and murdered by Saddam and his sons.
6.8.2006 2:14pm
A.S.:
In all fairness, even most Republicans appear to distinguish b/t "pre-9/11" and "post 9/11." So the legal scruples of Clinton and Sandy Berger, however misguided, are not so egregious as the deliberate decision of Bush et al. to leave Zarqawi alive in order to bolster their case for invading Iraq. (Tho it was always a stupid idea, since Zarqawi was in the northern no-fly zone.)


Of course, to be even more fair, Bush was in the midst of engaging our allies, such as France, and the UN, with respect to Iraq - the good multilaterialist that Bush has always been - so it would be perfectly understandable that he would not want to upset that multilateralism with a unilateral military strike on Iraqi territory. Clinton, of course, faced no similar restraints.
6.8.2006 2:28pm
frankcross (mail):
Amazing how partisan people are. I've seen Dems demeaning this accomplishment, but had no idea how creative Pubs could be in making this partisan.

The "negativity" of the press will emphasize innocent civilians? Of course, there are hundreds of stories out there and I've seen none on the subject. So we have to make up something that hasn't happened in order to make our point?

It's pretty remarkable how people can take good news and, instead of being pleased, immediately search for a way to spin that news in order to attack people.
6.8.2006 2:30pm
Freder Frederson (mail):
What kind of person opposes his own military that protects the country, wants to have higher taxes, wants to stop drilling for oil and have everyone live on less, etc.?

You are confusing opposing the administration and the decisions of the administration with opposing the military. I am extremely concerned about the military. My wife is on her second tour in Kuwait. This president is the who is destroying the military by misusing and stretching it to its breaking point. It is the conservatives who are willing to let the volunteer military do all the sacrificing and are unwilling to lift a finger to make any effort or give anything up to fight this war who are really opposing the military.

I would rather have higher taxes than endless debt and a future mortgaged to China. As for less drilling. We simply cannot drill our way out of our energy problems. It is as simple as that. We, as a people, use about 25% more energy per capita than Western Europeans after differences in climate are accounted for. It is plain to see that we can use considerably less energy without significantly negatively impacting our lifestyle. Just imagine what we could do if we were really committed to thinking differently about energy usage and generation.
6.8.2006 2:36pm
Falafalafocus (mail):
After reading the extremely thoughful comments by such eloquent posters as Publi Defender, Mark F, and Anderson, to name a few, I have devised a good stock response to this horrible, horrible news regarding the beloved freedom fighter who we lovingly call "The Z Man".

First, Bush is evil and murders by the hundreds of millions.
Second, Bush and everyong who supports or works for him is evil and murders by the thousands and billions.
Third, Zarqawi is a just and honorable man who was really not all that important until the Evil Bush Machine came along.
Fourth, Zarqawi should have been killed before the war and thereby avoided soldiers from having to be used in Iraq.
Fifth, Zarqawi could have been killed but it was all a part of a Bush conspiracy to invade Iraq and therefore use soldiers.
Sixth, We need more soldiers in Iraq and the Zarqawi murder proves it.
Seventh, if you question any of the above six, then you are obviously a warmonger who have bought into the Evil Bush Conspiracy and should go die (preferably in Iraq, which is of course where we shouldn't be in the first place).

I hope this concise summary finally quiets you mindless Republicans who refuse to speak truth to power.
6.8.2006 2:37pm
Mike BUSL07 (mail) (www):
Just to reiterate, I am really glad he is dead. My friend just called me to inform that he will organize a Zarqawi death(/World Cup opener) party for thsi weekend. Two great reasons to celebrate.
6.8.2006 2:37pm
Christopher Cooke (mail):


Ann Coulter may sometimes say outrageous things to make headlines and sell books, but one thing she got right is that Left wing thinking is a form of mental illness.


Her comments about the 9/11 widows demonstrate that Ms. Coulter is a despicable human being who will say anything to sell more books. I would question the judgment of anyone who reads her trash and ascribes any truth to what she has to say.

As for Zarqawi, I am glad the military finally got him. I thought he may have been mentally ill, and certainly evil, not because he opposed the US, but for the beheadings and other acts of extreme brutality that he appeared to enjoy doing. I would say that his death is somewhat significant as a public relations victory, but perhaps not that significant as a military victory. Getting bin Laden, in the near future, might convince some of the insurgents that they are fighting for a lost cause (not all of them, but the ones who are already talking to the Iraqi government).
6.8.2006 2:40pm
Freder Frederson (mail):
The "negativity" of the press will emphasize innocent civilians? Of course, there are hundreds of stories out there and I've seen none on the subject. So we have to make up something that hasn't happened in order to make our point?

Can you point to this negativity in the press? So far the only place I have seen this is on right wing sites saying this is what the MSM is going to say.

Frankly, I think it is a valid point that Zarqawi is probably not as big a figure as the American military made him out to be and that his death will have very little impact on the conditions on the ground. A year ago maybe. But the Iraq situation has pretty much developed into a Civil War and the influence of foreign fighters is now pretty minimal (and even at their peak they were still represented less than ten percent of the insurgents).
6.8.2006 2:42pm
therut:
I'm having a great day going to my favorite web pages to see how those will twist this to rationalize their negativity.. So far all arguments have already spun the web and everyone I must say is crowing the party line. DailyKos has some real nasty angry people cause an enemy of the USA was killed. It would make someone wonder whose side they are rooting for. Not really it is obvious they root for evil and aganist good and their own country. During the 1960's I was too young to know what was going on. I get to finally experience first hand a tast of bitterness and anti-americianism from the left. I am thrilled.
6.8.2006 2:51pm
PersonFromPorlock:
Just Wondering: Didn't I get the memo?

Apparently not. It read "Consider the following two headlines: Allies Land in Normandy; Enemy falling back in Heavy Fighting and; Allied Landing in Normandy Causes Thousands of French Casualties. Both are true but the, er, sense we have of their respective author's interests is somewhat different."
6.8.2006 3:01pm
Public_Defender (mail):

First, Bush is evil and murders by the hundreds of millions.


Never said that.


Second, Bush and everyong who supports or works for him is evil and murders by the thousands and billions.


Never said that.


Third, Zarqawi is a just and honorable man who was really not all that important until the Evil Bush Machine came along.


Never said that. It's good for Iraq that Zarqawi is gone.


Fourth, Zarqawi should have been killed before the war and thereby avoided soldiers from having to be used in Iraq.

Fifth, Zarqawi could have been killed but it was all a part of a Bush conspiracy to invade Iraq and therefore use soldiers.


I said that the NBC report had not been "debunked" as an "urban legend" just because the Bush administration denied it.


Sixth, We need more soldiers in Iraq and the Zarqawi murder proves it.


I was glad to see Zarqawi gone. It wasn't murder. But if Bush and Rumsfeld hadn't tried to go to war on the cheap (and instead used enough troops), Iraq would likely be far less unstable than it is. It is perfectly fair (and not anti-military) to argue that Bush has prosecuted the war badly.


Seventh, if you question any of the above six, then you are obviously a warmonger who have bought into the Evil Bush Conspiracy and should go die (preferably in Iraq, which is of course where we shouldn't be in the first place).


Actually, it's heartening to see at how much my arguments have to be distorted before they can be refuted.
6.8.2006 3:02pm
Christopher Cooke (mail):

During the 1960's I was too young to know what was going on. I get to finally experience first hand a tast of bitterness and anti-americianism from the left. I am thrilled.



The reaction of some on the left to such an evil man's death points out the partisan divisiveness that has infected all aspects of our nation's politics, much like what occured during the Vietnam war era.

But, I trace much of that divisiveness to Lee Atwater's style of campaigning, and then to Newt Gingrich and his fellow Republicans' coming to power in 1994, and the GOP has run the country since then. They frequently engage in personal attacks on the opposition's character (instead of focusing on policy differences), question their opponents' patriotism and engage in despicable campaign tactics, such as employing behind-the-scenes character assassination through "independent" groups. With the ascendancy of Karl Rove (Atwater's protege) and Bush-43, these tactics of villifying the opposition moved to the White House fulltime (e.g., who can forgot the "McCain had an illegitimate black child rumor" in South Carolina?). So, it is rather sad, but not surprising, that some of Bush-43's political opponents won't say anything nice about his administration, even when the military does something great.
6.8.2006 3:10pm
Falafalafocus (mail):
PD,

You do a fair job identifying where I went wrong in my summarization of your argument. However, you continue to state essentially that we could have killed Zarqawi at any time. My fourth and fifth points grant you that. You are freely entitled to believe anything you wish about what Bush knew regarding Zarqawi prior to the war (although I question the relevance of that fact since we are now in the war and therefore the only value of this allegation is to therefore insuate, as my post does, that Bush should be identified as the cause of much death and destruction). However, citing this piece and insinuating that Bush knew but refused to act for clandestine purposes seems to me to be readily identifiable as a "conspiracy theory". I therefore have difficulty finding the distortion in either my fourth or fifth points.
In addition, you may be of the opinion that you are the only sane voice and that you are being entirely consistent, but I count at least 7 or 8 different voices, all equally shrill, who shoot off in so many directions that it is nearly impossible to combat them all. The only unifying theme: Bush is wrong, wrong, wrong. That's why I labeled my post a "summary" and not "an exegesis into Public Defender's thoughts on the matter."
6.8.2006 3:27pm
Freder Frederson (mail):
Bush-43's political opponents won't say anything nice about his administration, even when the military does something great.

You see, that's where you have it all wrong and where I am really worried about the future of this country. The implication of this statement is that the U.S. Military somehow is part of the administration and Bush should bask in the glory of the military accomplishment.

Nothing should or could be further from the truth. The military swears an oath to uphold and defend the constitution of the United States, not the office of the President. They swear to obey only the legal orders of the President and their superior officers. The military is not a political tool of the administration and should never be used as one. Too many on the right have forgotten that.
6.8.2006 3:27pm
Falafalafocus (mail):
Freder Frederson,

You make a smart point there (one in which I wholeheartedly agree, in fact). I therefore can expect that you are also the first one to stand up and say that the administration is not responsible the actions of individual military personnel for Abu Garib and Haditha, right?
6.8.2006 3:35pm
Anderson (mail) (www):
I've seen Dems demeaning this accomplishment

Really? Where?

Zarqawi was a wicked murderer &I'm glad he's dead, probably more glad than I should be given my erratic Christian beliefs. Is there anything else terribly interesting to say about the narrow issue of "Zarqawi's dead"? Probably not.

N.b. President Bush saying that we shouldn't expect the death of Zarqawi to mean that the fighting is almost over. Was he demeaning the accomplishment?

I jumped in b/c I saw some commenters raising the "we deliberately passed up Zarqawi" meme and others treating it as falsehood or nonsense. I don't think it is, &Scheuer's remarks are good reason for that belief.

If y'all have to defend your interior castles with rhetoric about "Bush Derangement Syndrome," hey, whatever helps you through the night ... all right?
6.8.2006 3:38pm
Christopher Cooke (mail):
Freder: Bush is the Commander in Chief of the military, so it is his administration's military, in that sense.

Of course, it is really our country's military, many in the military are not partisans, and it is not supposed to be used as a "political tool." But, just as it is fair to refer to the Bush administration's Department of Justice, I think it is fair to refer to the Bush Administration's "military" and the Bush administration's Department of Defense. The military is not supposed to be an "independent" agency (such as the SEC or FCC), it is controlled by the President, through his status as the Commander in Chief and through the civilian leadership of the Defense Department.
6.8.2006 3:47pm
Freder Frederson (mail):
I therefore can expect that you are also the first one to stand up and say that the administration is not responsible the actions of individual military personnel for Abu Garib and Haditha, right?

Haditha, almost certainly. Abu Garib, I am not willing to give them a pass on. There is certainly evidence that some of the interrogation techniques used at Abu Garib and other places were approved at very high levels at the Pentagon and the confusion about what were appropriate treatment techniques led directly to the aberrations that were revealed along with command breakdown. Not only that but Rumsfeld himself admitted, on camera in a press conference, to a serious violation of the Geneva Accords (which were fully applicable to the U.S. as an occupying power in Iraq) when he admitted authorized concealing detainees from the ICRC at the request of George Tenet.

So I am unconvinced that the Abu Garib incidents were isolated or the actions of a few, unsupervised, low-ranking MPs. I think there is ample evidence that this administration has countenanced, and approved, the use of cruel, degrading, and inhumane treatment and even torture against detainees, the president's statements notwithstanding. I hope those actions, once they are brought to light, will be the eventual basis for impeachment and even criminal charges against several members of the administration.
6.8.2006 3:55pm
Freder Frederson (mail):
The military is not supposed to be an "independent" agency (such as the SEC or FCC), it is controlled by the President, through his status as the Commander in Chief and through the civilian leadership of the Defense Department.

No, but more than any other agency of the government, it is supposed to maintain strict political neutrality and that neutrality is actually written into the UCMJ. Military members have strict rules against participating in political campaigns or even endorsing or working for political candidates. They are not allowed to criticize the commader-in-chief or participate in partisan politics. It is even illegal to poll active duty military members. You obviously no very little about the relationship between the military and partisan politics and the efforts the military goes to to remain apolitical.

As a military spouse, I must curb my very partisan tongue when I am in the presence of military members or acting as a part of the military community. I certainly wouldn't be saying any of this if I thought any of you could figure out who my wife is or what unit she is with as my politics could reflect negatively on her.
6.8.2006 4:07pm
Public_Defender (mail):

However, you continue to state essentially that we could have killed Zarqawi at any time.


I did not say that. I said that if Bush had used enough troops for the mission, it's likely we would have killed or captured Zarqawi sooner. Instead, the power vacuum gave Zarqawi room to operate, hide, and murder.


You are freely entitled to believe anything you wish about what Bush knew regarding Zarqawi prior to the war (although I question the relevance of that fact since we are now in the war and therefore the only value of this allegation is to therefore insuate, as my post does, that Bush should be identified as the cause of much death and destruction).


I knew about the Bush-could-have-killed-Zarqawi-before-the-war story, but I left it out of my initial comment because I didn't know enough about the story. After someone posted the NBC story, someone else claimed that the story was "debunked" as an "urban legend" merely because the Bush administration denied it. I stand by the assertion that a Bush Administration denial does not, by itself, "debunk" a news report.
6.8.2006 4:22pm
Christopher Cooke (mail):
Freder, I am not sure we are disagreeing on anything. While I don't profess to be an expert on the UCMJ, I have heard of the military's rules about not criticizing the Commander in Chief and the effort the military is supposed to follow to ensure strict political neutrality among its members, including restrictions on partisan political activity.
These rules are similar to those that apply to all federal government employees (see the Hatch Act)---rules with which I am more familiar because I used to work for the US District Court (as a law clerk) and for the SEC (as an attorney).

My point is a simple one: Bush is the Commander in Chief, and as such he has ultimate responsibility for the military. I would also argue that this is his "war" in Iraq, inasmuch as he dragged the USA into it (through deceptions, tricks, or simply the unknowing spread of misinformation, take your pick) So, I will permit him to "crow" about the military's victories because I intend to hold him fully accountable for its failures. Thus, while I appreciate (and share) your dismay at the Bush Administration's frequent attempts to use the military as a political tool (see the "Mission Accomplished" aircraft carrier landing), my legal point about Bush being the head of the military is simply indisputable.
6.8.2006 4:40pm
Freder Frederson (mail):
These rules are similar to those that apply to all federal government employees (see the Hatch Act)---rules with which I am more familiar because I used to work for the US District Court (as a law clerk) and for the SEC (as an attorney).

No, the rules for the military are much stricter than they are for civilians. There are no prohibitions for civilians to privately support political candidates (have a yard sign, make contributions, volunteer in a non-public way on a campaign). All these things are prohibited for military members. As I indicated it is even illegal for private pollsters to poll active duty military members about their political opinions or preferences. A base commander can even ban political bumper stickers (even of civilian employees) if he sees fit.
6.8.2006 4:48pm
Tim_K (mail):
I agree with the sentiments expressed by N.I.:

The son of a bitch is dead. Can we please all just enjoy the moment while it lasts and put our bickering on hold until tomorrow?

And maybe Osama will be next.


This will be my only comment at this site. Every time I've bothered to read the comments I've been struck by the disconnect between the thoughtful and provocative quality of the Volokh Conspiracists and the lack of quality in the comments section.
6.8.2006 5:18pm
Anderson (mail) (www):
Every time I've bothered to read the comments I've been struck by the disconnect between the thoughtful and provocative quality of the Volokh Conspiracists and the lack of quality in the comments section.

This gives a pretty good idea whose comments he's reading &whose not? (And isn't the word "conspirators"?)
6.8.2006 5:51pm
Public_Defender (mail):

This will be my only comment at this site. Every time I've bothered to read the comments I've been struck by the disconnect between the thoughtful and provocative quality of the Volokh Conspiracists and the lack of quality in the comments section.


Perhaps that's because some of the comments come from people who make broad insults without taking the time to justify their position or explain why they think others are wrong.
6.8.2006 6:20pm
Anderson (mail) (www):
Perhaps that's because some of the comments come from people who make broad insults without taking the time to justify their position or explain why they think others are wrong.

LOL, PublicDefender.
6.8.2006 6:48pm
Wonderduck (mail) (www):

Better yet, they need to go to Iraq and pitch in to this great cause!


...and since you're such a big detractor, what will you do? Defect?
6.8.2006 9:29pm
Wince and Nod (mail) (www):
Hooray!

I also note that on this blog, instead of sniping with real lead bullets, blowing up IED's and beheading folks we snipe with ridiculous insults, blow up agglomerations of fact into unsupportable theories and lose our heads in response.

I absolutely cannot emphasize enough how much I prefer blogging over terrorism!

Good going, everyone!

Yours,
Wince
6.8.2006 10:00pm
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
The comments are often fairly enlightening here when the subject is the law. But when it comes to politics, the only difference here is that when people call people on the other side idiots, they don't do it as nastily as is done on other sites. Thus, intead of, "X, you ignorant idiot", you are more likely to get "I respectfully disagree with that statement of X, and cannot imagine that he actually believes such a thing".
6.9.2006 12:57am
Harry Eagar (mail):
On the question of whether the troops were 'undersupplied,' consult 'Ruff's War,' by Cheryl Ruff, a Navy nurse anesthetologist who served in a surgical unit just behind the front. She says they had to sqeeze out and reuse the sponges used to mop up blood during operations.

'Nuff said? There's plenty more like that.

The book was published by Naval Institute Press, which I'm sure we all identify as the voice of leftist despair.
6.9.2006 1:30am
therut:
Was she speaking of sponges to mop floors with. I see nothing out of the ordinary there. As a nurse you would think she maybe had worked in a hospital before. However it may have been a large one in a city where she never would have noticed what the janitors ( I mean the Environmental Dept. Employees) do. Wringing out mops to clean up blood in the ER is not new. I would think in an ER taking care of one wonded bleeding person after another it really would not be unusual. I have stood on very boody floors with blood down my scrubs and in my shoes from just one trauma patient. Good Grief this woman has issues if that is what she bitches about in a war zone. I wonder if she had enough clean underwear while she was there.
6.9.2006 2:35am
Anderson (mail) (www):
But when it comes to politics, the only difference here is that when people call people on the other side idiots, they don't do it as nastily as is done on other sites.

Was it ethics, or politics, of which John Adams said no progress had been made in 2000 years?
6.9.2006 10:15am
Harry Eagar (mail):
She was talking about the sponges used to soak up blood from inside the open body, therut. Are you a medico? If so, does your response indicate that you cannot even conceive of reusing blood sponges? Or what?

Mopping didn't enter into it. They didn't have floors. Just dirt. After a day's surgery, they cleaned the bloody dirt out with shovels.

And no, she didn't have clean underwear either. Nor sufficient food. Or safe water. At one point, most of her unit was out of commission from food poisoning, the result of contamination from burning feces.

Makes you wonder what would have happened if it had been a real war with more than a few American wounded. (Most of their work was on Iraqi soldiers and civilians.)

There was a curious passage in which they debated which of their vital supplies and equipment to throw away when they were told there was not enough transport to move their gear.

Another curious passage about how she was instructed to shoot children if any approached their convoy out of Kuwait and into the combat zone.

Whatever fantasies Bush had, the generals did not expect the Iraqis to welcome the Americans with flowers and tears of joy.

That might make an interesting question for lawyers of conspiratorial bent: If a 'liberating' army expects to have to shoot children it's liberating on its way in, can the claim of 'liberation' be justified under the laws of war? Maybe it's more of a philosophical question.

Politcally, it's a no-brainer. If the generals were justified in expecting that sort of reception (which it turns out they were), then was it irresponsible to attempt the conquest with inadequate troops?

Of course it was. Shinseki was right.
6.9.2006 5:06pm
biu (mail):
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6.10.2006 4:19am