Lying Media Bastards

June 8, 2006

Killed to Death

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The news media seem to be hyping the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi a bit.

First of all, we should probably remain a bit skeptical about whether or not this death actually happened. The US gets its information wrong so much of the time these days, it’s not impossible that they happened to kill a guy who looked like Zarqawi, not the actual Zarqawi.

Secondly, we have to wonder how big a terrorist threat Zarqawi was. My understanding is that Zarqawi was the head of a terrorist cell in Iraq, and was responsible for all kinds of heinous crime. Although he called this cell “al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia”, Juan Cole argues that the group didn’t have any concrete, on-going ties to the rest of al-Qaeda, that the title was essentially “branding”. While I’m sure that many Iraqis are happy that one of their potential murderers is no more, I don’t believe Bush’s claim that “Zarqawi’s death is a severe blow to al Qaeda.” On top of that, Al-Qaeda seems to be an organization that strives to be effective even when their leaders are gone.

And third, foreign terrorists have never really been the most dangerous aspect of post-war Iraq. I’d still put my money on the US forces in Iraq as the largest killer of Iraqis to date. After that comes the cruelest members of the insurgency, who will kill any Iraqi who they feel is aiding the occupation. Then, sadly, comes the group that I think is poised to take over the #1 spot, Sunni militants and Shia militants who are engaged in Iraq’s muted civil war (more than 1400 people were victims of “targetted attacks” just in Baghdad, just in May 2006). And then the next-highest death toll after that is foreign terrorists like Zarqawi.

The death of Zarqawi might lessen the killing some, but it seems like it’s just destined to continue to get worse.

Posted by Jake on June 8, 2006 5:15 pm

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