*The remix is here.*
CENTCOM‘s server is overwhelmed but I managed to swipe this before it went down. How sweet it is.
Amazing that there was anything left of him, really. Update: WaPo has video of Gen. Caldwell commenting on the airstrike.
Update: Can anyone point me to video of Iraqis celebrating? I’ve seen a bunch of scattered clips on Fox and CNN but nothing of any length. Update: Ain’t nothing gonna spoil ABC’s fun, chump. Update: Nothing’s going to bring Newsweek down, either:
Conceivably, the effect will be to weaken the insurgency as a whole. But it’s also possible that the homegrown Iraqi rebels, now free of Zarqawi’s evil image, may actually grow in political power and military strength. Following the classic pattern established by many other guerrilla groups in history, they may work through “peaceful” front organizations that actually take part in the Parliament, while also continuing to attack in the field. “Fight and talk” is often a successful strategy for guerrillas looking to assure their people’s rights. Zarqawi made talking almost impossible.
There’s literally nothing the United States could do — short of total withdrawal — that would be received by the pundit class as an unambiguous good. Mind you, these are the same people who carp endlessly about the fact that we haven’t caught Bin Laden.
Update: As I was just saying:
The killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi removes the man who took Iraq’s insurgency to new heights of savagery but it also creates a martyr whose inspiration will mobilize new recruits.
Arab and Western security analysts were agreed on Thursday that Zarqawi’s death in a U.S. air raid would not end the insurgency, even if it represents a rare triumph in Iraq for the Bush administration.
Geraghty reports more tears in heaven.
Update: On this one issue, at least, McCain is gloriously free of “nuance.”
Update: Do you guys want me to add audio to it? Leave your suggestions for music in the comments. I was thinking “Sabotage.”
Update: The Times has a timeline of how word spread throughout the White House. Stranger than fiction:
“What you really need to do,” Representative Ray LaHood of Illinois told the president, “is go get Zarqawi,” according to an account by the White House press secretary, Tony Snow, who was at the meeting.
“I said ‘Yeah, we’ll just order that up right now,’ ” Mr. Snow recalled in an interview this morning.
Minutes after that exchange, at 3:45 p.m., the national security adviser, Stephen J. Hadley, left the room in response to a Blackberry message to call the American ambassador to Iraq in Baghdad, Zalmay Khalilzad.
“We think we have Zarqawi,” Mr. Khalilzad told him.
Update: Reuters quotes Gen. Caldwell with background on the intelligence:
He said a breakthrough came while U.S. forces were trailing Zarqawi’s spiritual adviser, Sheikh Abdul-Rahman.
“This gentleman was key to our success in finding Zarqawi. He was a top lieutenant of his and was identified several weeks ago by military sources and sources inside Zarqawi’s network,” Caldwell said.
“Through painstaking intelligence efforts we were able to start tracking him, monitoring his movements … Last night, he went to meet (Zarqawi) again at 6.15 pm (1415 GMT) when the decision was made to go ahead and strike that target,” he added.
Update: How sweet it is, take two:
[A] few hours ago, while an Al Jazeera journalist was interviewing Abu Kadama, Zarqawi’s brother in law in Zarqa, Jordan, the broadcast was suddenly interrupted. Most probably by Jordan. Because when the journalist came back on the air, he said that Abu Kadama had just been arrested by Jordanian services. Then a second sudden interruption occured and when the Al Jazeera anchor appeared, he announced that his journalist colleague had also been arrested by Jordan.
Update: Look who’s running for Congress.
Update: Is Berg sure he’s too far left for the Democrats? Kerry and Murtha are saying, “Now’s our chance to run!”
Update: Believe it or not, but the AP actually sounds upbeat. Sort of.