Every day we hear of the death toll through the fomenting of civil strife, a campaign of murder and kidnapping and brutality, all of it designed to stifle Iraqi democracy at birth, and al-Zarqawi was its most vicious persecutor. The death of al-Zarqawi is a strike against Al Qaeda in Iraq, and therefore a strike against Al Qaeda everywhere. But we should have no illusions. We know that they will continue to kill, we know that there are many, many obstacles to overcome. But they also know that our determination to defeat them is total, their methods, their ideas, their extremism that seeks to infect the overwhelming desire of the overwhelming majority of people, whatever their religion and whatever their nation, to live together in peace and harmony.
So I do not minimise the enormous challenges that remain in Iraq and elsewhere, but the election of the new government and its full formation today shows a new spirit to succeed, and our task obviously is to turn that spirit, that willingness and desire to succeed into effective action. If we are able to do so then we will have accomplished something that goes far beyond the borders of Iraq.
zarqawi is dead. this is a very positive development in the war in iraq. iraq’s government is now complete with the appointment of the last three cabinet members. we can also rejoice in that positive step. we still have a long way to go in iraq, but these two developments are certainly something the american people can look at as positive news from iraq. while we are not quite ready for the “mission accomplished” sign, we still should acknowledge the positive when we see it.
others are not so convinced that zarqawi should be dead, however. this blew my mind when i heard the father of nicholas berg, the guy zarqawi beheaded, basically say that it shouldn’t have happened. it’s one thing to forgive the guy that killed your son, but zarqawi was a terrorist and he got what was coming to him.
this was an exhange between charlie gibson of abc and michael berg. (h/t- newsbusters)
Charlie Gibson: “I wonder as you watch this now happening in repetition, if there are feelings of a desire in you for revenge?”
Michael Berg: “I would like these people to be stopped, I would like them to be arrested, I would like them to receive justice. I would not want to see any of them killed and I don’t want revenge. I don’t want to personally attack those people.”
wow. zarqawi was not simply a murderer, he was also a terrorist. being arrested and receiving justice in a court of law is not an appropriate punishment for the many crimes zarqawi has committed against not only nick berg, but others as well. he did receive justice, and that kind of justice was exactly what zarqawi deserved.
iraq was about more than WMDs, although that was part of the case for the invasion of iraq. andy mccarthy makes the case here.
The American people vigorously support, and have always vigorously supported, the deployment of our military for the purpose of capturing and killing terrorists in promotion of American national securitytaking the battle to enemy so we dont need to fight them here. That is the Iraq mission we have always stood behindmore than finding Saddams WMD, a lot more than grand democracy-building initiatives, and a whole lot more than crafting new governments that establish Islam as the state religion.
Of course we must support the long-term goals of the democracy project. But we must be realistic that they are long-term goals. Democracy in the Islamic world is a matter of cultural upheaval over years, not just a few elections. Whether the project can ultimately succeed is debatable. One thing, however, is surely indisputable: Like the U.S. national security it is intended to promote, the democracy project cannot be sustained unless the enemy is first defeated.
It was not democracy that killed Zarqawi. It was the United States military.
We began the war on terror with the clear-eyed understanding that Islamic militants cannot be reasoned with; they have to be eradicated. Winning the war on terror will require the resolve to let our forces do their jobdespite occasional vilification from fair-weather allies who bask in the protection of American power while shouldering none of its burdens.
Today reminds us that we have the power to get the job done. The remaining question is whether we have the will.
that’s a hard question to answer. when all that we see on the news about iraq seems to be bad news, it’s hard for anyone to believe that there is progress being made there. that doesn’t mean that nothing positive is happening there. the death of zarqawi and the completion of the new government are positive developments for iraq, but will this be enough to convince the american people that it’s worth completing the mission in iraq? i’m not sure that it is.