Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Who cares how Zarqawi died?

I've noticed something interesting about media coverage about the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. They've been obsessed with how he was treated after the US troops arrived. First they said he was dead, then alive but treated well, and now some unnamed Iraqi made an unsubstantiated claim that he was just fine until he was beaten to death. There have been stories all over the news stations for the last few days, mostly around this one point.

Frankly, I don't get why they're so interested in the details. We were trying to kill the guy, we finally got him, now he's dead. Does it matter if he was alive and well when US forces there? Even if he was killed by ground troops, they were still US troops, so one way or another the US killed him. Who cares if they did it with a 500 pound bomb from 10000 feet or a pistol from 10 feet? Either way it's a job well done.

I think John Carmichael says it best:
Personally I don't give a rat's ass if the SOB was alive and doing jumping jacks before US forces got there! I care even less if he was then beaten to death by so much as a chorus line of showgirls... I know ethically I should care, it is the moralistic and ethical proper course...
Actually, I tend to disagree with John on that last point. This guy was a prime example of a Bad Guy. He was proud of the number of innocent people he killed through bombings and beheadings, many of them his "fellow Muslims". He sent his own followers on suicide missions. So I don't think there's any moral or ethical reason to be concerned with how he was treated. They could've executed him by throwing him into a sack full of rusty razorblades and rabid badgers, I'd still feel fine about it. Of course the justice would've been more poetic if they had taken a page from his book and, say, decapitated him with a sword and sent the videotape to Al-Jazeera, or maybe strapped a few pounds of explosives on his belly and sent him into an Al-Qaeda hideout.

But despite what I just said, it would still be a shame if he was killed by US forces. It's always regrettable when such a potentially valuable intelligence asset is killed before anyone got a chance to interrogate him and discover some more of his charming terrorist buddies.

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