Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi is dead

This time it doesn't look like a rumor.  This time it looks like the real deal:

Gen. George W. Casey Jr., Multi-National Force-Iraq Commanding General, announced the death of al-Qaida in Iraq leader Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi in the following statement during a press conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad June 8:

“Ladies and Gentlemen, Coalition Forces killed al-Qaida terrorist leader Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi and one of his key lieutenants, spiritual advisor Sheik Abd-Al-Rahman, yesterday, June 7, at 6:15 p.m. in an air strike against an identified, isolated safe house.

I guess that house wasn't as safe as Al-Zarqawi thought.  I'm only sorry it was a "clean" airstrike that took these evil men down.  I can't imagine that one of the bloodiest killers of the 21st Century suffered quite as much as his many victims did.  If you go here (although the lines are jammed, so to speak), you can see footage of the airstrike.
The President has already issued a statement, which is very polite.  I'd have preferred something along the lines of "we killed that Gosh-danged murderous bastard, and Bin Laden is next on our hit list."  You know, something along those lines.  Instead, the President was very polite.  In relevant part, about Al-Zarqawi's death, he said:

Good morning. Last night in Iraq, United States military forces killed the terrorist al Zarqawi. At 6:15 p.m. Baghdad time, special operation forces, acting on tips and intelligence from Iraqis, confirmed Zarqawi's location, and delivered justice to the most wanted terrorist in Iraq.

Zarqawi was the operational commander of the terrorist movement in Iraq. He led a campaign of car bombings, assassinations and suicide attacks that has taken the lives of many American forces and thousands of innocent Iraqis. Osama bin Laden called this Jordanian terrorist "the prince of al Qaeda in Iraq." He called on the terrorists around the world to listen to him and obey him. Zarqawi personally beheaded American hostages and other civilians in Iraq. He masterminded the destruction of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad. He was responsible for the assassination of an American diplomat in Jordan, and the bombing of a hotel in Amman.

Through his every action, he sought to defeat America and our coalition partners, and turn Iraq into a safe haven from which al Qaeda could wage its war on free nations. To achieve these ends, he worked to divide Iraqis and incite civil war. And only last week he released an audio tape attacking Iraq's elected leaders, and denouncing those advocating the end of sectarianism.

Now Zarqawi has met his end, and this violent man will never murder again. Iraqis can be justly proud of their new government and its early steps to improve their security. And Americans can be enormously proud of the men and women of our armed forces, who worked tirelessly with their Iraqi counterparts to track down this brutal terrorist and put him out of business.

The operation against Zarqawi was conducted with courage and professionalism by the finest military in the world. Coalition and Iraqi forces persevered through years of near misses and false leads, and they never gave up. Last night their persistence and determination were rewarded. On behalf of all Americans, I congratulate our troops on this remarkable achievement.

Zarqawi is dead, but the difficult and necessary mission in Iraq continues. We can expect the terrorists and insurgents to carry on without him. We can expect the sectarian violence to continue. Yet the ideology of terror has lost one of its most visible and aggressive leaders.

Zarqawi's death is a severe blow to al Qaeda. It's a victory in the global war on terror, and it is an opportunity for Iraq's new government to turn the tide of this struggle. A few minutes ago I spoke to Prime Minister Maliki. I congratulated him on close collaboration between coalition and Iraqi forces that helped make this day possible. Iraq's freely elected Prime Minister is determined to defeat our common enemies and bring security and the rule of law to all its people.

Talking to Technorati:

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16 Responses

  1. Getting this news was a GREAT way to start my day………

  2. Is he really dead this time?

    He’s been killed and wounded so often, it’s dificult to know what to think.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abu_Musab_al-Zarqawi#Claims_of_death

    Hopefully, he’ll stay dead this time.

  3. Sombre and restrained and resolved were adjectives I would employ concerning the President’s address. I agree with you, Bookworm, that it should have been different. Carrier landings and celebration are the right way to greet this news.

    Still, the war on terror is also a struggle against those who would-not-war. In this country, with our MSM, and also in the media-controlled Western world. The President’s remarks were probably tempered to deal with that mindset.

    I’ll be looking to see the Arab and Muslim world ramifications. I still remember seeing the feelings of the Jordanian man on the street after Saddam was pulled from his hidey hole. For the average Arab, an idol had been shattered.

    The early network TV did its best to downplay the happening–which they usually do when the news is good from Iraq.

  4. The early network TV did its best to downplay the happening–which they usually do when the news is good from Iraq. – JG

    Maybe they are merely tired of reporting on Zarqawi’s death? This is something like the 9th time he’s been reported dead, not to mention numerous reports of his severed leg that miraculously reappeared.

  5. Yeah, I’m trying to get over my schadenfreude; I can’t help but imagine the surprised look on his face when instead of being greeted by 72 virgins, he’s confronted with an eternity in hell!

  6. The media has tried to report Zar dieing, like they tried to do it with Saddam. The military has never officially declared Saddam or Zar captured/dead until they actually could confirm it.

    The military already knows that they should not believe everything they hear. There is a reason for this, and I’ll come back to it later at the end here.

    In retrospect, this would make a great propaganda film. Just visualize it. Here you have a swaggering murderer and assassin moving around beheading people like Nick Berg, going from house to house. Then a bomb finally takes them out and they acquire the body. You could do it in two ways. The first half of the film could be full of blood and savagery, and endless party of death and mutilation as we witness Z-man’s death and jihad fun. Throw in some emotional and heart tearing testimony from the victims, and we have the same emotional setup as the Iranian hostage incident.

    Then the second half we would see Z-Man running afraid from house to house, his LTs dieing in droves, and finally a bomb blows him up.

    That’s one way to do it. Another version of the propaganda President Bush can fund with Pentagon funds is this. First half stays the same, to setup the audience and tie them in to the faceless deaths that otherwise would be seen on the media. The second half then would show the perspective from the US side instead of Z-Man’s perspective of running. The purpose of the second half is to tie the audience into the emotional fatigue of the soldiers in trying to find Z-Man and failing. Until finally, they do, and they blow him up. A final clip of Z-Man having a drink and toasting the future success of the JIhad could be a nice flourish as the bomb guides in on a tv mounted camera.

    The military has soldiers trained in reporting, CGI, production, orchestration, filming. THey don’t need Hollywood. They just need Bush’s authorization.

    The most optimistic end result would be this. A person watching propaganda film version 1, would feel frustration and anger at Z-Man’s free romp through human beings with faces, feelings, and families. The second half would give them satisfaction, a satisfaction nobody got after seeing hostages freed by Iran, as they see Z-Man scared and running, the prey instead of the predator. The denument would be his death.

    Version 2, would give them the same emotions in Part 1, but would give them a double dose of frustration, rage, and empathy as they see US soldiers attempt to get Z-Man. The emotional catharsis at the end, would be twice as potent.

    TS is betting that the military got it wrong. I’ll bet otherwise. But it isn’t as simple as that, really. The media is waging a disinformation campaign, and people should really understand what that means. When they report that Saddam is dead, or even that he might have died, this is disinformation designed to demoralize you. It gets your hopes up, then squashes it. So the next time you hear something like it, you won’t ever feel as uplifted as you would the original time. Boy crying wolf is an obvious disinformation operation.

    When the media reports or hints or implies that Z-Man might have been harmed or captured or killed, this is disinformation that has a corrosive effect upon the morale of those who watch it. The military went through this when they tried to get Saddam. There were lots of false starts, their Intel branch had to rework the entire description of Saddam’s family structure from the ground up. It was like trying to write a family tree of the God Father by watching every 1 second out of every 60 seconds. Hard brutal work. Lots of times they searched houses and Saddam escaped by minutes. The military, because of the discipline they have, are trained to handle this kind of demoralization. Civilians are not. Civilians get their hopes up. When the media reports that the Miners Trapped Under a Cavein were alive…. well let’s just say that disinformation is disinformation, regardless of whether it was intended as such.

    You can’t devastate someone’s hopes if they don’t have any. So you have to give them something to hope for, then crush it. The media does this almost unconsciously, as when they reported the Miners as alive when they were really dead.

    The emotional and propaganda impact of the President’s announcement will do little to effect civilian morale. You can tell, because some people here were wishing for something different to be said.

    There are other things you could do, you know, other than propaganda films and changing the words of the President, to boost morale. 5 days before this for example, the President could have announced that there was an amnesty deal that was being talked about concerning Z-Man. Imagine what people would have felt. Depressed? Perhaps. Enraged? Possibly. Disappointed and disgusted? Of course. Doubt in the Iraqi’s abilities and morality? Most certainly.

    Then 5 days later, Z-Man dies. Emotinal catharisis perhaps?

    The timing need not be exact, they didn’t know when they would get close. But they knew they were getting close. General Pace kept saying months ago, that they were getting closer to Z-Man on interviews. Presumably nobably believed him,b ut the President should have. If I was a betting man, I would have betted on the military as I am now.

    Create disinformation, create news items that the media will report because they want it to be true. This time, the goal is to depress civilian morale, in order for Z-man’s death to have its maximum effect.

    This is how you boaster and support civilian morale in warfare, this is how you stay the course, and this is how you bring unity in war. But Bush won’t lie or deceive people purposefully, and my disinformation and propaganda methods require both to be present.

  7. I say we just package him with pork products.

  8. A great example of what I’m talking about when affecting (not effecting) civilian morale is what the media did unconsciously before the first Iraqi elections. They predicted, prepared, and caused a state of consciousness in the American public that expected violence and destruction and craziness. The reason being that that was what the reporters themselves expected. What they got was better than they expected, thus lifting their morale and spirit.

    When I speak about disinformation, I am not talking about some elite and nebulous “theory” floating around that only experts can make use of it. An incompetent media trying to bungle the news, can do it. The President of the United States with the resources of the Pentagon, can do much better.

    You really can’t lose. If things are as bad as you prepared the people for, then you are seen as right. If things are better, people are too happy to spread misery through blame. Win-Win. The Democrats have a rather obsessive attachement to this strategy for some reason, but they aren’t very good with it.

  9. TS is betting that the military got it wrong. I’ll bet otherwise. —

    No, I’m not doing anything of the sort. All I’m saying is that it’s difficult (for those who’ve been paying attention) to know what to believe.

    I’m just pointing out that Zarqawi has been reported dead and maimed more often than Liz Tayor has been married.

    Here’s a wee sampling:

    November 20, 2005
    al-Zarqawi Dead Again?
    The Jerusalem Post and DEBKAfile are reporting that forensic experts are examining remains that may be those of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the head of the al-Qaida in Iraq terror group. From the Jerusalem Post:

    http://wizbangblog.com/2005/11/20/alzarqawi-dead-again.php

    June 02, 2005
    Zarqawi Dead (#273 in an ongoing series….)
    Ok, it’s been said before, but I’ll say it again: Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, the group formerly known as Tawhid and Jihad, former member of Ansar al-Islam, the man who personally beheaded innocent civilians, and mass murdering terrorist in Iraq is dead.

    http://mypetjawa.mu.nu/archives/085330.php

    Claims of death
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abu_Musab_al-Zarqawi

    On March 4,2005 Brigadier-General David Rodriguez of the Joint Chiefs of staff revealed that the Pentagon didn’t have “direct evidence of whether he’s [al-Zarqawi] alive or dead”, providing commentary on the nature of prior “evidence” linking al-Zarqawi to attacks and bombings. But that same day, AP reported that an Iraqi resistance group claimed al-Zarqawi had been killed the April prior in the US bombing of northern Iraq.

    Speaking off the record, intelligence community sources have previously said they believe it “very likely” that al-Zarqawi is indeed long dead. Such a fact makes al-Zarqawi’s alleged killing of Berg difficult to reconcile, and there has been broad speculation that blaming al-Zarqawi is an administration ploy. Further anomalies surrounding Berg’s death have fueled added speculation.
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/FE22Ak03.html

  10. I think it is simple. EIther a person believes Zman is dead right now, as the military reported, or they do not believe he is dead. How long are people going to straddle the fence and appear to be non-judgemental? Hedging your bets, having doubt, hesitation, these things are a risk onto themselves.

    This is something like the 9th time he’s been reported dead, not to mention numerous reports of his severed leg that miraculously reappeared.

    Since TS always says the negative and produces reasons for disbelieving it, it is not inaccurate to say that TS disbelieves it. For someone to hedge their bets, they would have to consider the odds and benefits for both scenarios. Currently, TS has considered the odds only for falsity, not truth.

    What I’m pointing out is that a person who 10 out of 10 times says that you shouldn’t believe something, he himself doesn’t believe in the subject of discussion.

    A guy on the wall, would 5/10 times say why you should believe and 5/10 say why you should not believe.

    I just can’t believe someone has like 50-500 reasons why Z Man is not dead at this moment, can say that he doesn’t believe the story is either true or false.

    It’s simple. The military said they killed them. The military in the past times, have said they weren’t sure they got him or not. Allegations, claims, possibilities, these things were reported and believed as fact. Not the military’s problem people are guillible nor that the media preys upon this guillibility.

    So, you either believe the military got it right, Z Man is dead. Or you believe the military got it wrong, Z Man is not dead.

    You want to be skeptical and say that you believed all those stories and now won’t believe a direct confirmation which is contrasted with all the rumours you did believe, then I don’t know what to say. Human behavior is complex like that.

  11. There’s another scenario I forgt. TS might have never believed those rumours and what not. Which means, he doesn’t believe CentCom’s reports either. Which contradicts with what TS claimed before, that he wasn’t betting that the military is wrong.

    Well, when someone doesn’t believe something is true, they are betting it is false. That at least, I can assure you. Well, there’s the available scenarios. You, TS, can select for us which you would like us to believe.

  12. TS — perhaps you should join the chorus at DailyKos or Democratic Underground or TheLeftCoaster. First, deny al-Zarqawi is actually dead; but if he is dead, then deny this makes any real difference, is not a “milestone” or “turning point;” is an act of revenge and not justice; he has a 100 eager replacements; he wasn’t really Al Queda in Iraq until we invaded Iraq and “made” Al Queda in Iraq; where’s Osama Bin Laden?; the real terrorist occupies 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, etc ad nauseum.

  13. T.S ., In none of your examples does the military and the President say he is dead. I’d suggest you disbelieve any unofficial reports and believe the official announcement of his death. Officials can be, and sometimes are, wrong. They could be wrong here. But they are far more reliable than the “off the record” media sources you quote above.

  14. Speaking off the record, intelligence community sources have previously said they believe it “very likely” that al-Zarqawi is indeed long dead. Such a fact makes al-Zarqawi’s alleged killing of Berg difficult to reconcile, and there has been broad speculation that blaming al-Zarqawi is an administration ploy. Further anomalies surrounding Berg’s death have fueled added speculation.

    Off the record, true. But also “very likely” speculation as well. “Broad” speculation even. Very likely broad speculation perhaps, which is off the record.

    Compared to this.

    “Ladies and Gentlemen, Coalition Forces killed al-Qaida terrorist leader Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi and one of his key lieutenants, spiritual advisor Sheik Abd-Al-Rahman, yesterday, June 7, at 6:15 p.m. in an air strike against an identified, isolated safe house.

    Choose what you want to believe. We all are weighing a gold coin in both of our hands, trying to determine which is heavier. To me, the latter is a lot heavier than the former’s very likely broad speculation.

  15. Dr. Sanity has a smattering of Leftist reaction. It’s unsettling stuff. No wonder the terrorists gain support from reading these writers.
    ——-

    Here’s my favorite:
    Firedoglake (Taylor Marsh, again) – “During the news conference, General George Casey said al-Zarqawi’s death would not end the insurgency. That’s for sure. It’s pathetic that Casey has to remind everyone that this doesn’t solve our challenges in Iraq, considering how far gone the country is at this point. But with Bush and the administration feeding progress propaganda to us at every turn it’s a point that must be made.

    Now we’ll get to see the truth about Murtha’s case regarding insurgents vs al Qaeda types in Iraq. The reality is that it’s going to take a lot more than killing al-Zarqawi to change reality on the ground in Iraq.

    Good riddance to al-Zarqawi, especially what he did to Nick Berg. But his death comes so late in Bush’s preemptive war games it’s hard to appreciate it at all.”

    ———
    Trackback URL for this entry:
    http://haloscan.com/tb/drsanity/114977054359136989
    ——-

  16. The people who complain the loudest about progress propaganda, are in effect people that my kind of progress propaganda would work the best on. Is that ironic? Perhaps. But it is most definitely human.

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