It pains me to bump the Yearly Kos post down but duty calls. Apparently we had our own little version of the end of the Godfather last night: damn near everyone got hit. A “treasure trove” of information was collected, says Gen. Caldwell.
Some Democrats, breaking ranks from their leadership, today said the death of terrorist leader Abu Musab Zarqawi in Iraq was a stunt to divert attention from an unpopular and hopeless war.
“This is just to cover Bush’s [rear] so he doesn’t have to answer” for Iraqi civilians being killed by the U.S. military and his own sagging poll numbers, said Rep. Pete Stark, California Democrat. “Iraq is still a mess — get out.”
Update: CNN has a blaring headline up right now about Zarqawi having been “betrayed” by his, ahem, spiritual advisor, but the AP says it was inadvertent.
Update: Time reports that the key bit of intel came from the Jordanians, who tipped the CIA about Zarqawi’s rendezvous with his advisor, Sheik Abd-al-Rahman. Meanwhile, back in Jordan:
[A] 12-foot banner was erected Thursday outside the home of Zarqawi’s brother, Sayel “Abu Omar” al-Khalayilaht. In blue letters on white, it proclaimed “the wedding of the hero martyr Abu Mousab al Zarqawi,” a reference to the belief among his supporters that his “martyrdom” in the jihad against America has set him on a wedding-like procession to paradise. Veiled women weeping near the house were admonished by al-Khalayilaht, who said “Don’t cry, but ululate, for he is a hero and a martyr.”
Update: It’s in the nature of news that criminals get press while their victims remain obscure, and all the more so the greater the number of victims there are. So take a moment to think of this guy, whose wedding reception last November at a hotel in Amman turned into a slaughterhouse when it was hit by one of Zarqawi’s suicide bombers.
His wife survived. His father, and both of her parents, did not. Nor did 30 or so other people in attendance. His reaction:
“I received the news like anyone who has suffered from the calamities of terrorism,” Akhras told Reuters in Kuwait, his home for the past two months. “I felt God has brought His heavenly justice on earth today.”…
“Time may heal something simple, but what happened to us was big,” he said. “I don’t remember it as my wedding day, it’s a day in which the eyes of Amman turned black and cried.
“I can’t describe how I feel,” he said, tears in his eyes.
Update: The Christian Science Monitor is upbeat. Note what M.J. Gohel has to say about how hard it’ll be for jihadis to replace Zarqawi’s iconic value. Christopher Hitchens finally has a piece up at Slate and he’s upbeat too, of course. He closes with this salute to the world’s Jack Murthas and Markos Zunigas:
If we had withdrawn from Iraq already, as the “peace” movement has been demanding, then one of the most revolting criminals of all time would have been able to claim that he forced us to do it. That would have catapulted Iraq into Stone Age collapse and instated a psychopathic killer as the greatest Muslim soldier since Saladin. As it is, the man is ignominiously dead and his dirty connections a lot closer to being fully exposed. This seems like a good day’s work to me.
Update: Arab TV responds the way you’d expect.
Update: Fatal ambivalence in the Arab world.