It has been almost 24 hours since I first heard the news, on Bloomberg of all places (I was discussing how bad my retirement will be with an offshore financial advisor… brrrrrrrrrr). I have had 1 day to absorb the events of yesterday and to see the blogsphere light up like a Christmas tree on the topics. I have discussed this with expats and Chinese citizens alike. I have to throw my 2 cents into this fray. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is gone… or is he? I am not speaking to any of the crack pot conspiracy theory blogs or websites out there (I only subscribe to my own and logically explained other conspiracy theories thank you) but rather this point. In the realm of fanaticism good ole Zarqawi, Bin Ladden, and others subscribe to death is only a rallying cry and bolster in popularity, an elevation into celebrity and fan fare no one can achieve in real life, well for a terrorists anyway, this ain’t Hollywood!
I am glad this hate monger is dead. Not for the same reason as others may think. Sure he killed American civilians, and citizens of a half dozen other countries in cold ruthless blood lust that only a religious fanatic can do and still sleep soundly at night. Not because he trained and masterminded thousands of poor, uneducated, unaware, and asleep kids into sacrificing their lives and futures for a cause no one can come into even 50% agreement on within the faith. Not for the dog and pony show and perceived small victory it means for the US military or the incredible and painstaking work, patience, and effort it took form hundreds of military personnel to track, confirm, and execute this man of hatred and fear. I am glad he is gone for the simple fact that we can focus on the real task at hand, slowing the insurgency to the point the Iraqi security forces can confidently and handedly accept their own security and take care of the problem themselves. When this is done we can then redouble our efforts in Afghanistan against a new wave of Taliban militants and have the presence of pressure Iran and Korea need to keep them a little more honest.
Zawqawi was a mastermind and polarizing persona giving the religious tensions in the region a bad name. People deserve to have religious differences, hell that is freedom, to be able to disagree. But his answer was not to debate the issue, or even walk away pissed, but to blow up innocent people in a perverted interpretation of Islam and in the name of a cause he really could not care about. He was the quintessential foreign insurgent who came to Iraq for only one reason, to kill Americans. It was fun to blow up our military patrols for a year but that became so passé so he upped the gas by blowing up mosques, markets, government buildings, schools, employment offices, ordering and participating in mass executions where the only crime was to be of a different splinter of the same faith (similar to the Irish issues in Belfast form my childhood). He gave a face and rallying cry to all the poor, disadvantaged and unemployed youth who had nothing to look forward to, saw people die everyday, and had little hope of making it to the next year. He used them like people use toilet paper. He was an evil and disturbed person who finally pissed the wrong person off. How else was is whereabouts so conveniently found out? I am not downplaying our intelligence or Spec Ops people for their outstanding job well done, but saying that there is a mole in the organization who hated him enough to sign his death warrant by leaking information to the enemy.
He was a figure head and a person who got his just desserts, but in my opinion much too easy. Ironic he died in the fashion most of his victim’s did. He was sitting down talking about business and maybe even enjoying the evening in comfort and with his guard down when the whole world around him abruptly and loudly exploded in a hail of RDX and concrete. I hope in the final milliseconds of his existence on this plane, when the brain slows down time to try to make sense of the situation and survive, he realized this is how most of the people who died by his hand died. You dance with the devil long enough you will get your foot stepped on and man is smarts like a mother trucker!
My biggest fear of this is that despite 90% of his network being captured or killed in the past year and the locals losing patience with these foreigners telling them what to do and killing their sons is this. This enemy is a headless and relentless entity fueled by hate and fear and killing one will only cause 3 more to take their place. His network was old and dated, a new breed of insurgents are already in place and most likely the ones responsible for telling the US where he was, telling him to die a martyr or a dog, or al Qaida got sick of him detracting from their true cause that they ‘let’ this happen. I am scared many will see him as a hero (here in China he and Osama are seen that way as they have actually ‘stood up’ against the US and given us a black eye) and will be a recruiting poster for a new wave of fanatics out for nothing more then blood. I am also scared his planning and scheming will pay off and start a religious civil war in Iraq further destabilizing the region and forcing us to stay in Iraq longer then we should. I am not scared of American blood being spilt as we all know the freedoms we enjoy were paid for in blood and in order to keep the freedoms and way of life we all enjoy we have to pay in blood from time to time, that is the price of being free in the world we live in. Our flag has red in it for a very good reason, we must never forget that.
I want our men and women home, on free soil and enjoying the summer, but I want Iraq to stand on her own and be lawful and just. I want Afghanistan to be ruled by law and order, not a religious death squad full of bullies and cowards. I want the people of these countries to enjoy the same summer evenings as anyone else, in a secure and peaceful state. I want the world to be safe for children of all races, religions, and nationalities. I want there to be disagreement, strife, arguments, and questions as to why things are the way they are. But I want there to be a free and civil way to debate and air these differences that is civil and productive and fosters an air of growth and compromise to mutual satisfaction. American’s don’t want to push our selves on anyone else, we want them to be free enough to chose their own life and then free to change their mind later on and as many times as possible. Change is good, even if it is Hillary at the helm, as then we will appreciate the GOP so much more with a second Clinton as president. I am glad this terrorist is dead and I hope the person who takes his place meets the same demise in a much shorter time frame then he did. I wish these jihadists would finally find a leader that would teach them the real meaning of Islam, the real love of their God, and the real way to settle one’s differences. Death begets death, blood, blood, and an eye for an eye. This is good in a world of revenge, but in that world where are we left at the end of the day? Does killing your enemy feel any better when it is in reprisal? If the whole lot does an eye for an eye the best we can hope for is a world full of pirate looking people missing half of what is left to see, or everyone blind and full of hate.