So they got Zarqawi. Back when he was a media superstar, it was all newspapers could do to keep from grinning maliciously at the fact that the number 2 terrorist in the entire world had thus far eluded capture or annihilation at the hands of our elite military. It’s amazing how quickly the media’s tone will change at the small and slow victories that have, for all intents and purposes marked the war in Iraq (the taking of Baghdad notwithstanding). Zarqawi’s death is certainly that, but you hear and see it reported like it’s a brick removed from the yellow road, as opposed to the construction of a signpost reading “Thus always to tyrants”. Saddam was a tyrant of the pacing, finger-waving, kneecap busting ilk, proud and naive. Zarqawi was a different kind of tyrant, more subtle, less worldly, more media savvy. He paraded his cause before a media most willing to air his views and ideals. He got free advertising in every page of the international section of the newspaper. His superstardom was conferred upon him by a gushing and overawed machine, as long as his violent bombings and beheadings proved the was was a never-ending cycle of slaughter…until his body mass got converted to energy by a 2,500lb bomb, whereupon his status changed from Terrorist Du Jour to Just Another Jihadist. It’s disingenuous to imagine he had no real power or influence now that he’s dead–sure, it gives weight to the idea that we’re in a war that will last forever, but it doesn’t really look good when just a few months prior you named Abu Al-Zarqawi “Terrorist of the Year” and “Most Likely to Behead an Innocent American Civilian”. As honorific as those titles are, they clearly indicate the man was no small fry dhimmist. He was out for blood, for slaughter, for destruction, and his eradication from the earth and this worldsrealm is appropriate.
But the funniest thing is to hear average everyday citizens like Michael Berg, whose son Nicholas’ beheading was videotaped and sent ’round the world via Internet, say that he only wanted forgiveness, and that Zarqawi’s death would likely “foster anti-American resentment among al-Qaida members who feel they have nothing left to lose.” And he’s running for a House seat, which doesn’t give me much hope for Delaware. It’s this kind of idiotic thinking that pervades the mind of many people who are against the war. It’s as if they’ve turned off the part of their brain that has any kind of cognitive ability, and are now relying entirely on their sense of smell to determine their political outlook. The real miracle for these people would be the sudden flash of insight that, “Hey, I think these al-Qaida guys have it out for us no matter what!”
Bombing a guy into quantum particles is neither going to change the direction or outcome of a war, nor will it stop the continuing violence. But to say it will encourage more violence in an already violent region is like shoving a vial of poison inside a nuclear reactor core and then calling it dangerous. If you’re thinking along those lines, you’ve already missed the bigger picture, which is the countless number of homes and businesses that reactor provided power for. If you’re busy bemoaning the number of feathers the chickens have molted, you’d miss the egg count too.