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Zarqawi is dead. Hooray!

June 9th, 2006

What effect it will have remains to be seen, but Abu Musab al-Zarqawi richly deserved his fate. As well as being responsible for many gruesome acts of terrorism and murder, he was one of the leaders in stirring up civil war in Iraq. Of course, it would have been better if he’d been dealt with in early 2003, when the Pentagon had him in its sights.

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  1. MichaelH
    June 9th, 2006 at 08:51 | #1

    As has been pointed out by some, there is much overemphasis placed on one person as a leader, in this case, Zarqawi; head of ‘al-Qaeda in Iraq’, leader of the insurgency etc.

    It must be some kind of psychological need, to be able to identity a single ‘bad guy’ as the root of much evil.

    Will this be the cause for yet another proclaimation of ‘turning points’ in Iraq.? I haven’t heard anyone say this yet, but maybe they finally decided that this particular phrase has died of over-use.

    Anyway, It’s likely that the ‘Zarqawi effect’ was much over-rated. He apparantly fell out with the main Sunni insurgent groups some months ago and there has been fighting between them since.

    Might explain the sudden accurate intelligence that led to his demise.

  2. Hal9000
    June 9th, 2006 at 09:00 | #2

    Zarqawi is certainly no loss.

    I note however that children numbered among the collaterally damaged. I also doubt whether going down the Israeli route of assassination in preference to capture and trial is a strategy that will have net long term benefits for humanity or civilisation.

    It is also extremely doubtful whether Zarqawi’s removal will mitigate the occupation-fueled civil war in Iraq one jot. His grotesque brand of internet snuff porn was significant mainly as a turn-off for prospective insurgency recruits.

    I predict the main long term effect will be to exercise the minds of the Pentagon spinmeisters to find a new figurehead to demonise.

  3. Katz
    June 9th, 2006 at 09:10 | #3

    In the dim light that the more incorrigible Bush apologists imagine to be coming from the end of the Iraq tunnel, the death of Zarqawi may look a bit like a figleaf to cover a withdrawal timed to the US electoral cycle.

    Otherwise a big yawn.

  4. Dogz
    June 9th, 2006 at 09:12 | #4

    I guess it is probably too much to hope that this will shut-up the moral relativists on the left:


    ROBERT FISK: No, that’s absolutely correct and they want to create themselves and we help them create themselves. We help them do that. We help them do that. Every time we hold a press conference of the occupation powers, for example, in Iraq and say, “Mr Al-Zarqawi is to blame” , we help to do this. This is what we are doing and this is a big problem because we are helping to are all thosecreate the creatures of “evil”.

    Well, he’s “uncreated” now. Unfortunately, so too is everyone he beheaded. I wonder if Mr Fisk ever attempted to explain his “imaginary Zarqawi” theory to their families.

    Poor Zarqawi, he was just a victim of us evil westeners.

  5. June 9th, 2006 at 10:22 | #5

    The latest on cnn.com says he was “betrayed from inside the al Quaeda in Iraq group he lead”. and Bush says it will help to “turn the tide” in the fight against insurgency.

    As someone born in New York City and with relatives in the police and fire departments there, 9/11 certainly made me want to see al Quaeda blood run freely. And for the record, I am all for ridding the world of evil people. Having said that, learniing since 9/11 about the conditions that exist in a number of countries to create a seemingly endless supply of suicide bombers makes me think that killing the leaders will not in itself solve the problems. Seems to me that so long as there are people in desperate situations, there will always be extremist groups of one type or another to seduce them.

  6. MichaelH
    June 9th, 2006 at 10:46 | #6

    Dogz,

    Without the COW in Iraq, there would have been no Zarqawi leading ‘al-Qaeda in Iraq’.

    Fisk was correctly referring to the habit of threat-inflation and the especially nasty habit of personification of complex issues. Much better to talk about the evil-Zarqawi at press-breifings, than about the failure of reconstruction, lack of security and absent WMD.

    Zarqawi probably didn’t kill the innocent at Haditha, or drop bombs on that wedding party in northern Iraq, or shoot the 20 yr old pregant women at a checkpoint just a few days ago. All those things were managed quite nicely without him. He probably didn’t shoot JFK either.

    And now that he is no more, such things will continue to happen. But a replacement to play the role of ‘terrorist leader’, will be handy.

  7. June 9th, 2006 at 10:54 | #7

    There’s a detailed 2004 backgrounder on al-Zarqawi here:

    http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/10/16/1097784103533.html

    An interesting excerpt:

    “Yousef Rababa, the teacher who did time with Zarqawi in Swaqa Prison, argues that bin Laden is less of an extremist than Zarqawi:

    . . . ‘Bin Laden sees Americans and Jews as the enemy, along with the foreigners who are in the Arab homelands. But in prison, Zarqawi told me that anyone we think is not a believer is the enemy – and that can be Arabs, too, especially Shiites.’”

    Good riddance to him, I agree. But how an Xer street thug came to be seen (and function) as a leader does raise questions that go well beyond Mid-East politics. We live in an age of Ruler Thugs, a condition for which very few antidotes are being offered. Oddly, and controversially, “mainstream� terrorism (which I would define as that perpetrated by educated Xers) would seem to be anti-Thug.

  8. June 9th, 2006 at 11:10 | #8

    As has been pointed out by some, there is much overemphasis placed on one person as a leader, in this case, Zarqawi; head of ‘al-Qaeda in Iraq’, leader of the insurgency etc.

    I think this is true up to a point. For instance a lot of people seem to think that if only George.W.Bush was no longer the current US president then the USA would be a different creature. Well no doubt it would be different but not by a whole lot.

  9. Dogz
    June 9th, 2006 at 11:23 | #9

    Zarqawi probably didn’t kill the innocent at Haditha, or drop bombs on that wedding party in northern Iraq, or shoot the 20 yr old pregant women at a checkpoint just a few days ago. All those things were managed quite nicely without him. He probably didn’t shoot JFK either.

    Like I said, I guess it is probably too much to hope that this will shut-up the moral relativists on the left.

  10. MichaelH
    June 9th, 2006 at 11:36 | #10

    Dogz,

    You fail to see the point. If crying “moral relativists” makes you feel better, I’m happy for you.

    Terje correctly identifies the counter-situation. Blowing up Paul Bremer of Gerge W. would do as much to solve the problems in Iraq as does killing Zarqawi. This is way more complex and chaotic than a single person.

    Trying to tie many significant issues into a single point – Zarqawi, or Bush or whoever, is more about rhetorical convenience than clear thinking and accurate analysis.

  11. Dogz
    June 9th, 2006 at 11:56 | #11

    “Trying to tie many significant issues into a single point – Zarqawi, or Bush or whoever, is more about rhetorical convenience than clear thinking and accurate analysis.”

    And equating Zarqawi with Bush or whoever is moral-relativism of the worst kind so beloved by the left. I am no Bush-lover, but he does not set out to murder innocent civilians. I hate to break it to you: intent matters.

  12. jquiggin
    June 9th, 2006 at 12:03 | #12

    Paul, can we at least agree that generational categories like Boomer and X-er are only relevant in countries whose demographic experience resembles that of Australia and the US. As far as much of the developing world is concerned, the baby boom took place in the 60s, 70s and 80s.

  13. Hal9000
    June 9th, 2006 at 12:18 | #13

    “I am no Bush-lover”

    You’ll have to try a lot harder if you’re going to convince anyone of this one…

    “but he does not set out to murder innocent civilians. I hate to break it to you: intent matters.”

    The moral distinction you wish to draw between actions that have entirely predictable results – killing innocents – is surely fatuous. If I loose off 100 rounds from a machine gun in Queen St mall at lunchtime in order to prevent a bagsnatcher fleeing, I’m as criminally responsible as Martin Bryant when, inevitably, innocents are killed and maimed. Dropping bombs and razing whole neighbourhoods is repugnant whether it’s carried out by a suicide bomber or a jet pilot. Do you think it’s ok to apprehend criminals with 500 kg bombs dropped from aircraft on urban neighbourhoods? If not, then I suggest you examine your own moral relativism.

  14. Dogz
    June 9th, 2006 at 12:32 | #14

    Hal9000, is your real name David Hicks? Why don’t you head over to Iraq and fight on the side of your beloved terrorists?

    There is a fundamental moral distinction between trying to minimize civilian casualties and trying to maximize them. Although in your case I would happily make an exception.

  15. June 9th, 2006 at 12:33 | #15

    The problem with targeting leaders of al Quaeda is the assumption that it follows the heirachical command structure of the US Army where taking out key leaders can cause distruptions.

    The only problem is that all the evidence from the few people that know anything about the organisation is that it is nothing like this at all. It is in fact a loose collection of cells that feeds off local suffering an oppression. Taking out terrorist leaders like this is putting us in the position of judge, jury, and executioner. Zarqawi was tried, convicted, and executed by an F16 rather than a jury of his peers which is sort of standard in the Western World. The trouble is that we are honouring the thousands of people that have died from terrorists over the years by becoming like them and abandoning the rule of law that we hold so dear. Why was Martin Bryant not just killed at the scene by the police? He was obviously guilty. The answer is that in Australia we have rule of law. We suspend this to our peril and the ultimate loser in the war on terror may be us.

    I support bringing terrorists to justice. Justice to me however is not firing a missile from 10 000 feet. Justice is done in courtroom (sometimes) not at the end of gun.

  16. June 9th, 2006 at 12:45 | #16

    Collateral damage is a US military euphemism made popular during the Viet Nam war and which has now become an accepted part of military language. The definition hangs on intent; if the US intends to kill you, then you are a target. If you happen to live in the neighbourhood of a target and get blown up as well. you’re collateral damage. I suppose the US would say it is really the targets fault that the collaterals are damaged since the target chose to hide in a populated area rather than a conveniently deserted hilltop.

  17. Bring Back EP at LP
    June 9th, 2006 at 12:49 | #17

    Good riddance to evil.

    Unfortunately the US made him a much larger figure and leader than he actually was.

  18. MichaelH
    June 9th, 2006 at 12:50 | #18

    “And equating Zarqawi with Bush or whoever is moral-relativism of the worst kind so beloved by the left. I am no Bush-lover, but he does not set out to murder innocent civilians. I hate to break it to you: intent matters”

    Dogz, I think “moral equivelance” has superseded “moral-relativism” as the favoured general term of meaningless abuse.

    And thanks to Hal9000 for dealing with that old and threadbare excuse of ‘intent’.

    There is some difference between acts that deliberately target innocent civilians and those that knowingly, if unitentionally, will kill civilians. But actions that repeatedly kill civilians knowingly, but ‘unintentionally’, make that difference purely academic.

    What Fisk was referring to was the effort to make Zarqawi the issue. He wasn’t. Zarqawi didn’t create the situation in Iraq, he took advantage of it. Obscene enough, no one would disagree. But what of those who are responsible for creating the overall situation when they were warned that this was likely to be the precise outcome?

    “Moral relativism” Dogz? No, it’s far worse.

  19. David Allen
    June 9th, 2006 at 12:56 | #19

    This guy has been killed so often I’m reluctant to believe he’s dead now. Typical US approach though, an air strike. Tried, convicted and sentenced in one fell swoop. Typical american justice. This guy’s death will obviously stop him killing anyone else but the insurgency won’t be otherwise reduced.

    Take note of the interview with Nick Berg’s father Michael on the subject. See Crooks and Liars. This is how grown ups talk!!

  20. Katz
    June 9th, 2006 at 13:00 | #20

    “I suppose the US would say it is really the targets fault…”

    There is a difficulty in accepting too uncritically the word of the killer as an accurate description of what they are trying to do.

    If Osama din Laden had said that he took down the WTC because it was an important communications hub, would we be compelled to believe him?

    Then there is the thorny question of relative levels of credibility. OBL has been remarkably frank during his public career. Can the same be said of Bush?

    Just because you like the goals of a public figure doesn’t compel you to accept that she is firmly committed to not deliberately lying.

    And that brings us again to the moral quicksand entailed in the concept of the “noble lie”.

    Only excellent liars should indulge in the “noble lie”. Getting caught lying is a bad look.

  21. June 9th, 2006 at 13:19 | #21

    I agree with you and was trying to say that the euphemism hides a darker intent. I have no doubt the “acceptable collateral damage” from taking out a target in Iraq is much higher than the acceptable collateral damage from taking out a target in the US. Therefore it is OK to bomb a target in Iraq but not in Idaho.

  22. Hal9000
    June 9th, 2006 at 13:30 | #22

    chris shannon – the ‘intent’ argument got a real kick along from Israel, in an attempt to justify why its 3:1 ratio of innocent Palestinians killed in allegedly carefully targeted raids to innocent Israelis killed by indiscriminate Palestinian bombers is perfectly ok.

    Dogz, meanwhile, has surely reached a new low with his implicit death threat in retalliation for my expressing an idea or two. Along with moral relativism, Dogz might care to examine her attachment to democratic values, although her capacity for self-reflection is dubious.

  23. Spiros
    June 9th, 2006 at 13:32 | #23

    John

    your Frank Packer impersonation has slightly missed the mark. When Stalin died, the Packer-ordered headline in the Daily Telegraph was “Stalin Dead Hooray”.

    Your ‘is’, is surplus to requirements.

    On the substantive point of the post and the disussion, whether Zarqawi’s death brings iraq closer to peace is not the main point. He was a bad man who deserved his fate.

  24. david
    June 9th, 2006 at 13:40 | #24

    The sanctimonious drivel here is beyond belief.

    “Do you think it’s ok to apprehend criminals with 500 kg bombs dropped from aircraft on urban neighbourhoods? If not, then I suggest you examine your own moral relativism”.

    “I support bringing terrorists to justice. Justice to me however is not firing a missile from 10 000 feet. Justice is done in courtroom (sometimes) not at the end of gun”.

    And on.

    Just one of you clowns suggest a way of getting this bastard into court.

    A policeman? A warrant? A nasty letter over his overdue library books?

    The man was a maniacal killer whose guilt was beyond doubt.

    PS. You really do draw a long bow by comparing a “bagsnatcher
    in Queen St” to a savage who saws off heads while filming it.

    There is only one end for rapid dogs.They get put down.

  25. jquiggin
    June 9th, 2006 at 13:56 | #25

    Spiros, your version sounds more Telegraphese. Surprising as it may seem to some, I wasn’t there to read it, so my version is both second-hand and from memory. Can you point to a link on this ?

  26. Razor
    June 9th, 2006 at 14:06 | #26

    JQ – excellent title and comment.

  27. Spiros
    June 9th, 2006 at 14:14 | #27

    John, nothing authoritative. Try googling “Stalin dead hooray” and see what comes up.

  28. June 9th, 2006 at 14:45 | #28

    JQ – “What effect it will have remains to be seen, but Abu Musab al-Zarqawi richly deserved his fate. As well as being responsible for many gruesome acts of terrorism and murder, he was one of the leaders in stirring up civil war in Iraq.”

    Further to my post – Says Who???? How do you know this to be true??

  29. jquiggin
    June 9th, 2006 at 15:18 | #29

    “Says Who???? How do you know this to be true??”

    Says Zarqawi. Here’s just one example, and there are many more statements he’s released calling for attacks on Shiites and so on. Of course, he could be claiming “credit” for the crimes of others, and there may be cases where his name has been used as cover, but he had ample opportunities (including personal appearances on video) to disclaim these crimes if he chose.

  30. smiths
    June 9th, 2006 at 15:24 | #30

    maybe you guys leave your best brain cells for constructive research and thinking on genuinely useful topics like climate change etc,
    cos you really have missed the material evidence on zarqawi

    An internal document produced by U.S. military headquarters in Iraq, states that “the Zarqawi PSYOP program is the most successful information campaign to date
    .” (Washington Post, op cit).

    The senior commander entrusted with Pentagon’s PSYOP operation is General Kimmitt who now occupies the position of senior planner at US Central Command (USCENTCOM), responsible for directing operations in Iraq and the Middle East.

    “In 2003 and 2004, he coordinated public affairs, information operations and psychological operations in Iraq — though he said in an interview the internal briefing must be mistaken because he did not actually run the psychological operations and could not speak for them. Kimmitt said, “There was clearly an information campaign to raise the public awareness of who Zarqawi was, primarily for the Iraqi audience but also with the international audience.”

    A goal of the campaign was to drive a wedge into the insurgency by emphasizing Zarqawi’s terrorist acts and foreign origin, said officers familiar with the program. “Through aggressive Strategic Communications, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi now represents: Terrorism in Iraq/Foreign Fighters in Iraq/Suffering of Iraqi People (Infrastructure Attacks)/Denial of Iraqi Aspirations,” the same briefing asserts…

    zarqawi as described by chris floyd on counterpunch.com
    Zarqawi, the notorious shape-shifter who, according to grainy video evidence, was able to regenerate lost limbs, speak in completely different accents, alter the contours of his bone structure and also suffered an unfortunate binge-and-purge weight problem which caused him to change sizes with almost every appearance, was head of an organization that quite fortuitously dubbed itself “Al Qaeda in Iraq” just around the time that the Bush Administration began changing its pretext for the conquest from “eliminating Iraq’s [non-existent] weapons of mass destruction” to “fighting terrorists over there so we don’t have to fight them over here.”

    his death is a tool, readying us for the next stage whatever that is

  31. david
    June 9th, 2006 at 15:41 | #31

    Anyone getting their info from counterpunch probably has a nice
    range of alfoil berets.

  32. Bill O’Slatter
    June 9th, 2006 at 15:55 | #32

    Everything points to Zarqawi being a second order leader ; someone with the capacity somewhere between a sargeant and a lieutenant. To take his death as a serious blow to the Iraqi insurgency is clutching at straws. It is a propaganda victory for the U.S. but they better check thorougly who they’re giving they’re 25 mill to. Quote from
    Dr Michael McKinley, a Senior Lecturer in International Relations and Strategy at the Australian National University. ( from the World Today on Radio National)
    “His groups were thought to number no more than several hundred at the most. The claim is that the number of people engaged in some form of fighting against the occupation forces is several thousand. So he was a relatively small player in terms of percentage of strength inside that.”
    “You’ve got a symbolic victory, they’ve been able to get rid of somebody that was basically public enemy number one inside Iraq. That is all to their credit, so far as they are concerned, with regard to trying to pacify Iraq.
    But whether it’s going to change the overall attitude of Iraqis towards the occupation of people in the Middle East more generally towards what is happening in Iraq, I seriously doubt it.”
    McKinley gives Zarqawi as being in charge of 10% of the insurgency. I think this is also an overestimate. The more relevant figure , apart from the number of fighters ,would be the base of support .

  33. smiths
    June 9th, 2006 at 15:58 | #33

    leaving aside the pathetic second hand put downs,

    where do you get your information david?

  34. June 9th, 2006 at 15:59 | #34

    JQ – “Says Zarqawi. Here’s just one example, and there are many more statements he’s released calling for attacks on Shiites and so on”

    So therfore if I say that I robbed the local bank I am guilty? What happened to the chain of evidence, reasonable doubt and presumption of innocence?

    For example consider the following scenerio:
    ASIO has determined that I am the center of al queda in Australia and am in fact responsible for the bali bombings etc. It passes the info onto the RAAF that tracks my movements with a Global Hawk. It finds that I arrive home from work at 5:00pm so the next day an F111 takes off from Amberley, refuels and flies to Perth, puts the pipper of the Pave Tak on my house at 5:30pm and drops a 1000kg bomb killing me, my family and 4 neighbouring families.

    Does this sound like responsible ‘justice’? This occurs in Iraq almost every day. Why is this acceptable in Iraq and not in Australia?

  35. MichaelH
    June 9th, 2006 at 16:02 | #35

    JQ wrote,
    “Of course, he could be claiming “creditâ€? for the crimes of others, and there may be cases where his name has been used as cover, but he had ample opportunities (including personal appearances on video) to disclaim these crimes if he chose.”

    His significance is very debatable. There is no doubt that he part of the sectarian violence. And it’s been highly convenient to have a figure-head that be blamed and targetted. It provides a much simpler and more readily understood explanation of the going’s on in Iraq.

    I’m not sure if the Zarqawi fixation is a symptom or a cause of the ‘football analysis’ that goes on. Highlighting an individual as a target is comfortingly familiar – take out the quarterback and it’s game over.

    There is absolutely no logical reason for Zarqawi to “disclaim” anything attributed to him, unless he was aiming to be regarded as a nice guy. Zarqawi was, if we know anything, keen to be seen as a Sunni slayer of the Shia infidels.

  36. smiths
    June 9th, 2006 at 16:04 | #36

    i notice as well david that you refrained from commenting on the washington posts quotes regarding the ongoing psy op by the pentagon centred around zarqawi,
    no thoughts or disparigments to offer on that?

  37. MichaelH
    June 9th, 2006 at 16:09 | #37

    “There is only one end for rapid dogs.They get put down.”

    Or you can take them to the track on a Tuesday night.

  38. smiths
    June 9th, 2006 at 16:37 | #38

    “being responsible for many gruesome acts of terrorism and murder”
    “one of the leaders in stirring up civil war in Iraq”
    “He apparantly fell out with the main Sunni insurgent groups some months ago”
    “how an Xer street thug came to be seen (and function) as a leader does raise questions”
    “Zarqawi didn’t create the situation in Iraq, he took advantage of it”
    “He was a bad man who deserved his fate”
    “The man was a maniacal killer whose guilt was beyond doubt”
    “many more statements he’s released calling for attacks”
    “Everything points to Zarqawi being a second order leader ”
    “His groups were thought to number no more than several hundred at the most”

    not a single one of these authorative statements is close to being verifiable,
    each of them has come in some way or another from the utterly untrustworthy pentagon,
    i am constantly impressed by the research and depth of discussion and thinking here on JQ’s blog,
    but i feel like this thread is a catalogue of sloppy assumptions and mindless repitition

  39. MichaelH
    June 9th, 2006 at 16:56 | #39

    smiths, could it be that the released information on the Zarqawi PSYOP program is itself a PSYOP program?

    But seriously, I accept the general point, which is why I talked about the “psychological need” for a Zarqawi.

  40. Nabakov
    June 9th, 2006 at 17:25 | #40

    Here’s an interesting perspective on Zarq in Iraq.

  41. SJ
    June 9th, 2006 at 17:30 | #41

    Billmon‘s take is also good.

  42. Jack Lacton
    June 9th, 2006 at 17:34 | #42

    Hooray for Quiggin! Finally, he manages to say something everyone can agree on! Mark this down as a momentous day.

  43. Mike Pepperday
    June 9th, 2006 at 18:54 | #43

    “It must be some kind of psychological need, to be able to identity a single ‘bad guy’ as the root of much evil.�

    Yes, MichaelH. It is the need of the entrepreneurial, individualist worldview. This is a worldview that says human nature is fundamentally immutably bad, life is personal competition, and the world is controllable with skill. Bad human nature means government is to be distrusted, liberty exalted and cooperation suspected of being a form of coercion – which is extreme anathema (in principle).

    For effective competition equality of opportunity is mandatory (in principle) and in competitive world one must convince others of one’s (potential) success so the aim of living is to maximise recognition of one’s prowess. This tends to lead to innovation, creativity, generosity, flamboyance, gladhanding, living beyond one’s means. Risk is opportunity and rules are a nuisance.

    In international relations this worldview is coherent with “realism�. In lawless situations it leads to an “honour culture� of extreme reaction to insult.

    It is the world of the self-aggrandising (not self-effacing or brave) hero who must demonstrate his (sexist pronoun deliberate) superiority. Where other worldviews simply crush or ignore the enemy the individualist must actually show his superiority to the opponent. The opponent – evil bureaucrats and criminals – achieve thereby exalted importance.

    A couple of hundred years of a high strength diet of this worldview will require you to exalt Zakawi or Bin Laden or whoever.

    Ender is wrong in inferring that it stems from the US military hierarchy. That hierarchy is designed NOT to be disrupted when people are killed.

  44. SJ
    June 9th, 2006 at 19:09 | #44

    Ender is wrong in inferring that it stems from the US military hierarchy. That hierarchy is designed NOT to be disrupted when people are killed.

    I don’t think that was quite Ender’s point, rather it was that there’s a false assumption that there’s a hierarchy in Al Qaeda at all.

    As far as there being a “psychological need” for someone like Zarqawi, I would instead posit that it’s actually a pathological need that exists in an authoritarian government. Much like the need for Emmanuel Goldstein in 1984.

    (I realise that you were saying much the same thing, Mike. May as well just state it plainly).

  45. Mike Pepperday
    June 9th, 2006 at 19:24 | #45

    No SJ, not pathological – or at least, not intrinsically. No more than rival worldviews. The problem lies in its dominance, ie inadequate mitigation from other worldviews.

    And not authoritarian. The authoritarian merely has to have his or her way and may blame and punish the criminal but they do not need to exalt him. Everything about the individualist worldview strives AGAINST authoritarian government. Everything. Do you think Dogz is authoritarian?

  46. SJ
    June 9th, 2006 at 20:10 | #46

    No, he’s a duck:

    Though you could not actually hear what the man was saying, you could not be in any doubt about its general nature. He might be denouncing Goldstein and demanding sterner measures against thought criminals and saboteurs, he might be fulminating against the atrocities of the Eurasian army, he might be praising Big Brother or the heroes on the Malabar front — it made no difference. Whatever it was, you could be certain that every word of it was pure orthodoxy, pure Ingsoc . . . The stuff that was coming out of him consisted of words, but it was not speech in the true sense: it was a noise uttered in unconsciousness, like the quacking of a duck.

  47. June 9th, 2006 at 20:17 | #47

    And equating Zarqawi with Bush or whoever is moral-relativism of the worst kind so beloved by the left. I am no Bush-lover, but he does not set out to murder innocent civilians. I hate to break it to you: intent matters.

    Dogz,

    I know where you are coming from. However intent is not the only thing that matters. The death of millions from starvation in China and the USSR as the communists tried to build utopian societies (ie nice intent) is not excusable or forgivable merely because they meant well.

    Just to be clear I am not suggesting that the stupidity of the Bush administration is on the same scale as the stupidity of those communist leaders. Merely that the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and we should not be too quick to let leaders off the hook merely because they mean well.

    Regards,
    Terje.

  48. June 9th, 2006 at 20:36 | #48

    Taking out terrorist leaders like this is putting us in the position of judge, jury, and executioner. Zarqawi was tried, convicted, and executed by an F16 rather than a jury of his peers which is sort of standard in the Western World. The trouble is that we are honouring the thousands of people that have died from terrorists over the years by becoming like them and abandoning the rule of law that we hold so dear. Why was Martin Bryant not just killed at the scene by the police? He was obviously guilty. The answer is that in Australia we have rule of law. We suspend this to our peril and the ultimate loser in the war on terror may be us.

    If it was not possible to detain Martin Bryant without killing him them I am pretty sure the police would have killed him. In fact it is a pity nobody on the day had with them the means to bring wipe him out before he went on to kill so many innocent people.

    Part of the problem with declaring the war finished in Iraq when they did is that it tends to mean the process of targeting and killing leaders like Zarqawi then gets measured by a judicial type of logic rather than battlefield logic. War is not about the normal “rules of law” and it is merely window dressing to pretend that it is. The trial of Saddam is window dressing because there is no real presumption of innocence, there can’t be because the stakes are too high.

    If we were fighting a war that our very survial depended on, as opposed to a war far away, there is no way that we would constrain ourselves with the same burden of proof that we expect for criminals in times of peace. And in any case I know that if violent criminals invaded my home I would not limit myself to necessary force in any case. I would aim to use lethal force and when they were dead I would drop something heavy on them just to be sure. I would not be holding back to let a jury decide.

  49. SJ
    June 9th, 2006 at 20:43 | #49

    The trial of Saddam is window dressing because there is no real presumption of innocence, there can’t be because the stakes are too high.

    Quack quack quack.

  50. June 9th, 2006 at 20:54 | #50

    Terje – “If it was not possible to detain Martin Bryant without killing him them I am pretty sure the police would have killed him.

    However that is different from capturing him as they did, and then deciding that he was guilty and then executing him.

    “In fact it is a pity nobody on the day had with them the means to bring wipe him out before he went on to kill so many innocent people.”

    So are you advocating armed posses that go around looking for criminals BEFORE they commit a crime and then kill them? I am sure that idea will fly.

    “And in any case I know that if violent criminals invaded my home I would not limit myself to necessary force in any case. I would aim to use lethal force and when they were dead I would drop something heavy on them just to be sure. I would not be holding back to let a jury decide.”

    Sure and so would I. However this is not the case here and there are rules to war. The US pretends to ignore them when they are in breach however scream blue murder when other countries breach them on US military personnel.

    If you want to apply the rules of war to terrorists then they have to be afforded all the rights and protections of the Geneva Convention. ie all the prisoners in Gitmo are being held against the rules and should be released and the people that imprison them can be tried in the international court as war criminals. We hold others to high standards as the Serbian leaders found out.

    If they are not legitimate military then they are criminals are subject to criminal law therefore the assasination is unlawful and the perpertrators should be charged.

    You cannnot have it both ways. If it is legitimate to bomb suspects then why is it not done here in Australia or in the US. Seeing as it is such an efficient method then why not apply it here?

  51. June 9th, 2006 at 21:07 | #51

    So are you advocating armed posses that go around looking for criminals BEFORE they commit a crime and then kill them? I am sure that idea will fly.

    No. I am suggesting that after he shot the first half dozen people it would have been no bad thing if somebody had shot him.

  52. June 9th, 2006 at 21:10 | #52

    If you want to apply the rules of war to terrorists then they have to be afforded all the rights and protections of the Geneva Convention. ie all the prisoners in Gitmo are being held against the rules and should be released and the people that imprison them can be tried in the international court as war criminals. We hold others to high standards as the Serbian leaders found out.

    The Geneva Convention does not stop you killing enemy leaders using an F16.

  53. Sj
    June 9th, 2006 at 21:25 | #53

    The Geneva Convention does not stop you killing enemy leaders using an F16.

    Kinda like the way the Crimes Act doesn’t stop you from stealing cars.

  54. June 9th, 2006 at 22:41 | #54

    More like the way the Crimes Act does not stop the police from shooting criminals when the general public is being threatened.

  55. SJ
    June 9th, 2006 at 23:09 | #55

    Terje, law doesn’t stop anything. That’s not its purpose. It makes certain things punishable in order to deter the commission of such things.

    The law in Australia does not permit the police to kill people.

    They are permitted to act in self defence, or in defence of a third party, just as all the rest of us are.

    Basically, if some bad guy is waving a gun in your face, and is an immediate threat, there’s some justification. If he’s asleep, or doesn’t have the gun in his hand, then there’s no justification.

  56. June 9th, 2006 at 23:12 | #56

    Terje – “No. I am suggesting that after he shot the first half dozen people it would have been no bad thing if somebody had shot him.”

    So you would support general arming of civilians? As I remember it the result of the massacre was a dramatic tightening of gun laws – seems to be a bit of a contradiction here.

    “The Geneva Convention does not stop you killing enemy leaders using an F16.”

    No it doesn’t however it does prevent removing enemy POWs from the country where they are captured. If you want to class terrorists as legitimate military forces so you can take them out with F16s then you have to respect the other rules – as I said before you can’t have it both ways.

    “More like the way the Crimes Act does not stop the police from shooting criminals when the general public is being threatened.”

    However it does allow a policeman that shoots a suspect in anything but self defense to be tried for murder. It is the inconvenient rule of law that applies in Australia but not in Iraq.

  57. Seeker
    June 10th, 2006 at 00:06 | #57

    I am glad Zarqawi is dead, one less piece of scum to deal with. But it remains to be seen whether it makes a whole lot of difference to the Iraq situation, either way.

  58. June 10th, 2006 at 00:09 | #58

    A dramatic loosening of the gun laws would have been more effective. The Port Arthur killings are textbook example of why the general population should be armed. If every girl had a six-shooter in her purse, the port arthur killer WOULD have been shot by the time he killed the first half-dozen people.

    In populations which are heavily armed, mass murders tend to not happen, wonder why?

  59. June 10th, 2006 at 01:24 | #59

    > tend to not happen

    Or, looking at Israel, the mass murderers result to explosives.

  60. June 10th, 2006 at 01:25 | #60

    Er, “resort”.

  61. kcom
    June 10th, 2006 at 01:40 | #61

    “If you want to apply the rules of war to terrorists then they have to be afforded all the rights and protections of the Geneva Convention. ie all the prisoners in Gitmo are being held against the rules and should be released and the people that imprison them can be tried in the international court as war criminals. We hold others to high standards as the Serbian leaders found out.”

    The Geneva convention on POWs protects the following people:

    “In principle to be entitled to prisoner of war status the captured service member must have conducted operations according to the laws and customs of war, e.g. be part of a chain of command, wear a uniform and bear arms openly. Thus, franc-tireurs, terrorists and spies may be excluded. In practice these criteria are not always interpreted strictly. Guerrillas, for example, may not wear a uniform or carry arms openly, yet are typically granted POW status if captured. However, guerrillas or any other combatant may not be granted the status if they try to use both the civilian and the military status. Thus, the importance of uniforms — or as in the guerrilla case, a badge — to keep this important rule of warfare.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prisoner_of_war

    Here is an excerpt from one of the links in the article:

    “It is a violation of the laws of war to engage in combat without meeting certain requirements, among them the wearing of a distinctive uniform or other easily identifiable badge and the carrying of weapons openly. Impersonating soldiers of the other side by wearing the enemy’s uniform and fighting in that uniform is forbidden, as is the taking of hostages.”

    I’ll admit I’m no lawyer but it seems to me that there is a quid pro quo involved. You follow the rules of being a soldier and you’re entitled to the protections of the Geneva conventions.

    If you don’t, that doesn’t mean it suddenly becomes a police case. It’s a long way from a guy trying to hold up a bank in downtown Chicago and someone like Zarqawi purposely bombing and shooting civilians to achieve a political goal.

  62. milano803
    June 10th, 2006 at 08:39 | #62

    This is such fantastic news for the people of Iraq.

  63. June 10th, 2006 at 10:34 | #63

    Kcom – So Delta Force members who do not wear uniforms and try to blend with civilians are terrorists then?

    The problem is and always has been in these types of wars is identifying the enemy. It happened in Vietnam and it is happening again here. The way to defeat terrorists is to win the support of local people and remove their support base. Blowing up houses and killing innocent people to detain suspects is not a technique that will win a lot of people over. The Iraqi people know that this is not a usual method in the countries that are doing it and naturally resent it bitterly. This feeds the insurgency.

    Zarqawi is not the insurgency. Killing him makes little difference however the METHOD makes all difference in the world. The USA loves figureheads and they made the same mistake in Somalia in persuing General Ideed and ignoring the Hearts and Minds campaign that would been far more effective than hunting down and killing individuals. There is nothing more an insurgent leader hates than being ignored as they feed off the publicity and notariaty to enhance their own reputations.

    Until the Rule of Law is applied over all Iraq then there will be an endless supply of Zarqawis for the Americans to hunt down.

  64. Katz
    June 10th, 2006 at 11:02 | #64

    OK folks, gloating interlude is over.

    Now for a splash of cold reality:

    http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/come-home-iraq-workers-warned/2006/06/09/1149815316608.html

    “Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said their deaths underlined the dangers for people going to Iraq. “I know a lot of people working for security firms there make a great deal of money and are prepared to take the risk, but this death illustrates how dangerous work is in Iraq,” he said. “We continue to advise Australians not to go to Iraq, or those Australians in Iraq to leave.”

    Mr Downer said dozens of Australians were working as private security contractors in Iraq, and that was surprising. “The fact is, although it is very dangerous work, they can earn an enormous amount of money, and they don’t have to spend many months in Iraq to accumulate substantial amounts of money.

    “We try to discourage them, but it’s a free world. If they want to go, they don’t have to take our advice,” he said.

    The advice is significantly different to that Mr Downer offered in April 2003, when he said: “But I don’t have any doubt there will be plenty of work for Australian companies.”"

    So after three years of war and occupation, Downer has to confess that the security situation in Iraq has deteriorated to the point where Australians should not venture into Mesopotamia’s “Beacon of Light.”

    But wait a minute, if Australians aren’t going to do the crucial work of reconstructing Iraq, then who is?

    Silly me. I forgot. There is no reconstruction in Iraq. Remember? the US stopped funding it.

    Q: So what is the US and Australia doing in Iraq?

    A: Killing Zaqawi.

    Q:Why?

    A: To make Iraq a Beacon of Light in the region.

    Q: But they’ve stopped spending money on that Beacon of Light dream.

    A: Shhh! Maybe if we don’t mention it people won’t notice.

  65. MichaelH
    June 10th, 2006 at 11:20 | #65

    If the killing of one man, of whom there is more speculation than fact, is “fantastic news”, it really does highlight how little good news there is in Iraq, aside from the occassional school getting painted.

    Zarqawi is a welcome distraction from the real story in Iraq, which is the enormous chasm that has opened between the Pollyanna-ish predictions of the Iraq War advocates (eg Downer)in 2003 and the current reality.

  66. June 10th, 2006 at 14:00 | #66

    Katz – “Mr Downer said dozens of Australians were working as private security contractors in Iraq, and that was surprising. “The fact is, although it is very dangerous work, they can earn an enormous amount of money, and they don’t have to spend many months in Iraq to accumulate substantial amounts of money.”

    It is not a suprise to me – we paid for their training. The SAS is losing heaps of highly trained people, that we paid up to half a million dollars for, to private security firms that pay $1000.00 per day. What would you do? Be and SAS soldier on 50 or 60 thousand a year or work for private firms. We then have to pay for new SAS troopers to be trained. Good isn’t it.

  67. Katz
    June 10th, 2006 at 14:17 | #67

    Ender,

    That’s the problem with professional armies. They cost a fortune to maintain. Insurgents merely need patience and they’ll beat the best equipped and best trained professional army. Immediately a professional army is deployed the political, human relations, and financial meters start ticking at a furiious rate.

    And the SAS takes the problem one stage further. Democracies and standing armies have difficulty in co-existing. As taxpayers, we’re not allowed to know the identities of these public servants. They live in isolation from the wider community. They are the playthings of executive government.

    This is a far cry from the ideals of the citizen-soldier of the ANZAC myth and a far cry from all of Australia’s military commitments, from Gallipoli to Vietnam.

    Howard’s constant spinning on the ANZAC myth is possibly an attempt to disguise just how much military culture has changed in Australia, to the detriment of democratic control over and influence in the Australian military establishment.

  68. Spiros
    June 10th, 2006 at 14:59 | #68

    “In populations which are heavily armed, mass murders tend to not happen”

    For example, they didn’t happen at Columbine in 1999, when the two heavily armed high school students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold didn’t murder 12 people, and wound 24 others.

  69. June 10th, 2006 at 15:57 | #69

    Schools themselves aren’t heavily armed. Pharyngula had a big argument over a physics teacher bringing a pistol to class for one dramatic experiment a year.

    I remember some old story, possibly apocryphal, of a Palestinian trying to shoot up an Israeli diner and getting shot down in short order. As I noted, that leaves other options.

  70. kcom
    June 10th, 2006 at 15:58 | #70

    The Iraqi people know that this is not a usual method in the countries that are doing it and naturally resent it bitterly. This feeds the insurgency.

    I would just caution you to be careful of bald-faced assertions like that. It might seem logical to you but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true. I’ve seen a lot of celebrating going on in Iraq, if the pictures coming from there are any indicator.

    As to the Delta Force, I wish I knew more about how they operate. I don’t have any knowledge in that area and don’t know what the implications of the Geneva Conventions as applied to them are.

    Zarqawi is not the insurgency. Killing him makes little difference however the METHOD makes all difference in the world.

    Again, I would say be careful of the blanket assertions. Only time will tell if it makes little difference or a lot of difference. When the Saudis killed their local al-Qaeda head, and then killed his successor several months later (and his successor, too) it made a lot of difference. That was only clear in retrospect, though. At the time, the long-term effect was unknowable.

    The USA loves figureheads and they made the same mistake in Somalia in persuing General Ideed and ignoring the Hearts and Minds campaign that would been far more effective than hunting down and killing individuals.

    I would assert that to a great extent this is comparing apples to oranges. We didn’t go into Somalia to kill anyone or hunt anyone down. We went there simply to facilitate the delivery of food aid to starving people. When General Aidid tried to disrupt that process that’s when our attention turned to him and simply as a necessary hurdle to overcome to accomplish the relief mission. The big losers in the long run, of course, were those Somalis who were the intended recipients of the aid who never received it. If we had gone in there with a war strategy you would have seen a deployment and tactics that were markedly different. (There’s no way to know, of course, whether that situation would have been more successful because it was never tested. But I feel quite confident in saying that it would have been much different. For one thing, we wouldn’t have been dependent on the Pakistanis for APCs.)

  71. June 10th, 2006 at 20:09 | #71

    Kcom – “I’ve seen a lot of celebrating going on in Iraq, if the pictures coming from there are any indicator.”

    Perhaps however there is also a lot of grief from other suspect caputures. The pictures coming out are carefully chosen and controlled. Insurgent leaders usually have more enemies than friends so there would be a lot of celebrating.

    “Only time will tell if it makes little difference or a lot of difference. When the Saudis killed their local al-Qaeda head, and then killed his successor several months later (and his successor, too) it made a lot of difference.”

    How do you know what is happening Saudi Arabia? Do you imagine with the death of Zarqawi will end the insurgency in Iraq?
    You really need to watch this program on him from 4 corners
    http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/content/2006/s1625897.htm

    “When General Aidid tried to disrupt that process that’s when our attention turned to him and simply as a necessary hurdle to overcome to accomplish the relief mission”

    However you could not resist trying to get him rather than ignoring him and winning the people over. You ended up, from being cheered at the beaches when you arrived, to Black Hawk Down sort of stuff because of your inability to manage a situation where guns are not the weapon of choice. Contrast this with Australian management, on the British model, of the Cambodian elections in 1993. The commander there wisely ignored the pathetic remenant of the Kmer Rouge rather than trying to engage them and drawing attention away from the real effort.

  72. kcom
    June 11th, 2006 at 02:19 | #72

    The pictures coming out are carefully chosen and controlled.

    Please, I don’t go for conspiracy theories. Sell that to someone else.

    I take your point, but you don’t have to sell it with a conspiracy theory.

    How do you know what is happening Saudi Arabia?

    Have you heard any news of an al-Qaeda multiple bombing with the death 30 something people lately in Saudi Arabia? An embassy attacks? I think that would be pretty hard to cover up. It was common a few years ago, it’s not common now. To me, that’s a change.

    Do you imagine with the death of Zarqawi will end the insurgency in Iraq?

    No, I don’t. And I never have. And I don’t know any mature commentator on either side of the issue who ever has. But I’m also wise enough to know that neither you (nor I) have a crystal ball that allows us an omniscient view into the future. As I said, the only way to really know what will happen now that Zarqawi is dead is to watch and see what happens. Making a blanket statement that it will have little effect based on no evidence doesn’t seem to me to be a very supportable position. Whether it’s a turning point of any kind, even a partial one, will only be clear in hindsight.

    “You ended up, from being cheered at the beaches when you arrived, to Black Hawk Down sort of stuff because of your inability to manage a situation where guns are not the weapon of choice.”

    Yes, I agree. That was one of President Clinton’s great failings. It was sad how he squandered the goodwill of the world.

  73. brian
    June 11th, 2006 at 02:26 | #73

    In the cascade of lies told by the US and its little band of allies(Italy leaves the band next month !!)the lies about WMD’s.,Zarkawi..Saddam’s nucleur facilities,and just about everything else,the fate of Zaqawi reads like a ripping yarn…the US actually announced him dead a while ago..Oh,well..He may yet come alive when George needs another Bogeyman !!and who really believes it will make a whit of difference in Ireaq…Did capturing Saddam make a difference(THEY said at the time it would…but nobody believes them!!)..the course is still set for a total disaster!!!!perhaps with a repeat of that famous Saigon retreat in confusion and chaos!!…but this time in Baghdad .

  74. kcom
    June 11th, 2006 at 05:44 | #74

    the course is still set for a total disaster!!!!perhaps with a repeat of that famous Saigon retreat in confusion and chaos!!…but this time in Baghdad.

    If you hurry, maybe you can get your tickets now. Front row seat and everything. I know you’re looking forward to the show. You don’t have much else to look forward to, I guess. Except, perhaps, time at punctuation and capitalization school.

    And more substantively, the course is not set for anything. Unless you have a crystal ball that you’re not sharing with us or you believe there’s no such thing as free will and God has pre-ordained everything. Or Karl Marx has. Historical determinism went out of style a long time ago.

  75. June 11th, 2006 at 08:48 | #75

    John wrote:

    “Paul, can we at least agree that generational categories like Boomer and X-er are only relevant in [the West]. As far as much of the developing world is concerned, the baby boom took place in the 60s, 70s and 80s.”

    Agreed, in part. The expression “baby boomer” does sit awkwardly as a global descriptor for those born between 1946 and 1961. But while wishing that there was a better (= less birth numbers-based) term in general use, I will continue to use it because this generation in the West did share at least one important attribute (birth-numbers aside) with the Middle-East (not sure about the rest of the developing world).

    In both, fundamentalist revolutions starting in 1979 were hugely damaging to the careers (and so for men, the entire well-being) of those born after 1962. When combined with a Middle-East demographic bulge (despite which they’re still “Xers”, not “boomers”, per the above), an Arab generation’s most educated turned atavistic. Meanwhile, their Xer counterparts in the West, perhaps muted by their relative paucity in numbers, turned to living and dying alone in basements.

  76. June 11th, 2006 at 11:55 | #76

    Kcom – “Please, I don’t go for conspiracy theories. Sell that to someone else.”

    I realise I do have a bit of a thing for conspiracy theories however this is not one of them. In both the Gulf Wars the media was carefully controlled by a military that wanted to avoid the open reporting of Vietnam. This is a well documented fact and is well outside conspiracy theory. The situation in Iraq is so dangerous for jounalists that few venture outside the Green Zone. Giving a picture of this Green Zone is hardly represetitive of the greater Iraq. How many reports have you heard from Fallujah lately?

    “Yes, I agree. That was one of President Clinton’s great failings”

    You shift blame for this onto Clinton???? If this is the case then it is no wonder why your country keeps repeating the same mistakes. Perhaps it is a cultural thing. Just recently after wrecking the Somalia aid effort your CIA supported these same warlords with the result that an Islamic group is now in control of Somalia. The regime in Iran came about because of a cou organised by the same CIA that destablised an elected government. If you do not learn from your mistakes you are doomed to repeat them. Clinton – sure!!!!!!!

  77. MichaelH
    June 11th, 2006 at 15:08 | #77

    “Historical determinism went out of style a long time ago.” – kcom

    Not really.

    It just exists in a different form. Some of its’ strongest proponents were behind the Iraq War. They beleive that ‘democracy’ is the natural order, and where it dosn’t exist, you simply remove the impediments (ie Saddam) and it will miraculously spring forth.

  78. June 11th, 2006 at 21:00 | #78

    Ender,

    You said:-

    So you would support general arming of civilians? As I remember it the result of the massacre was a dramatic tightening of gun laws – seems to be a bit of a contradiction here.

    If I was John Howard there would be a contradiction within my position. However I am not John Howard so there is no contradiction.

    My view on the arming of civilians is that both government officials (eg the police) and civilians in general should be subject to the same qualifiers before they are allowed to own and carry a fire arm. So if a police officer can carry a gun after a mental health check, a criminal background check and X hours shooting range experience then an ordinary citizen should be allowed to carry a gun after a mental health check, a criminal background check and X hours shooting range experience.

    Regards,
    Terje.

  79. June 11th, 2006 at 21:59 | #79

    Re the “Stalin dead” headline, according to Paul Barry it originally read: “STALIN DEAD – OFFICIAL” but was changed by Sir Frank to “STALIN DEAD – HOORAY”.

    Compositors refused to print it.

  80. June 11th, 2006 at 22:33 | #80

    Terje – “So if a police officer can carry a gun after a mental health check, a criminal background check and X hours shooting range experience then an ordinary citizen should be allowed to carry a gun after a mental health check, a criminal background check and X hours shooting range experience.”

    Why not just become a Police officer if you really want to carry a gun? They can sure use the personnel. Then you would be under proper supervision and discipline. Or join the Army – even the Reserves get to carry weapons.

    Do you see the common thread here – discipline and supervision. Perhaps this is why it is not a good idea to arm citizens.

  81. June 12th, 2006 at 00:47 | #81

    Ender,

    Why not just become a Police officer if you really want to carry a gun?

    I don’t really want to carry a gun and I certainly don’t want to become a police officer. I think you are missing the point. My position is that you should not need to become a police officer in order to have the same legal firearm rights as a police officer.

    Do you see the common thread here – discipline and supervision. Perhaps this is why it is not a good idea to arm citizens.

    I don’t see any common thread that is relevant. The point is that we should only seek to disarm reckless people.

    In any case this is getting off topic. If you really want to explore it as an issue then maybe raise the issue of gun regulation in the weekend section.

    Regards,
    Terje.

  82. milano803
    June 12th, 2006 at 02:31 | #82

    “They beleive that ‘democracy’ is the natural order, and where it dosn’t exist, you simply remove the impediments (ie Saddam) and it will miraculously spring forth.”

    Democracy isn’t “the natural order” and I cannot recall anyone claiming that it is. Americans, of all people, know that democracy has a cost, often a huge one. And it rarely springs forth without a lot of bloodshed. But it IS a better system of government for the greatest number of people and it cannot spring forth with impediments such as Saddam.

  83. smiths
    June 12th, 2006 at 15:41 | #83

    i hope you can all clearly see how the story is already changing and also why we really should not beleieve a word of it

    A Dying Al-Zarqawi Tried to Get Away

    By PATRICK QUINN
    The Associated Press
    Friday, June 9, 2006; 6:18 PM

    BAGHDAD, Iraq — Abu Musab al-Zarqawi could barely speak, but he struggled and tried to get away from American soldiers as he lay dying on a stretcher in the ruins of his hideout.
    The U.S. forces recognized his face, and knew they had the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq.
    Initially, the U.S. military had said al-Zarqawi was killed outright. But Friday new details emerged of his final moments.
    On Wednesday, the U.S. military tracked him to a house northwest of Baghdad, and blew it up with two 500-pound bombs.
    Al-Zarqawi somehow managed to survive the impact of the bombs, weapons so powerful they tore a huge crater in the date palm forest where the house was nestled just outside the town of Baqouba.

  84. milano803
    June 12th, 2006 at 15:52 | #84

    This doesn’t seem like too much of a change actually. I expected more details about Zarqawi’s demise to come out after the first announcement and probably we’ll see more details as time goes on. Remember, stories gets rushed out in an effort to be the first to report something of this magnitude. And when they are rushed out that fast, all the details are not usually available. What is so sinister about this?

  85. chris shannon
    June 14th, 2006 at 16:05 | #85

    Anyone interested in hearing Adel Iskander speak while in Brisbane can check out http://www.ici.qut.edu.au for deatils. Adel is the author of “Bin Laden in the suburbs: criminalising the Arab other”.

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