Castro: Zarqawi Raid a Barbarity

Noted humanitarian Fidel Castro has criticized the American raid that killed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

President Fidel Castro called the U.S. airstrike that killed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi a “barbarity,” saying he should have been put on trial. The United States acted as “judge and jury” against the leader of the al-Qaida in Iraq, Castro said late Friday. “They bragged, they were practically drunk with happiness.” “The accused cannot just be eliminated,” he told a literacy conference. “This barbarity cannot be done.”

This is rather amusing given Castro’s human rights record. While we obviously want to be better than him, this does not extend so far as to providing trials before killing enemies during wartime. Zarqawi was killed, not in retribution for his many attrocities, but because he was the leader of the most dangerous faction of the “insurgency” we are fighting.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Matt says:

    Sorry, when I saw that he was at a literary conference, all I could think was Vogon Poetry.

  2. Alex Knapp says:

    Just so we’re clear on the Castro playbook:

    1. Executing dissidents. Okay.
    2. Concentration Camps for homosexuals. No problem.
    3. Killing enemies in wartime. Barbarous.

  3. Gnatman says:

    Are you really that surprised that Castro would denounce a U.S. military act. Why are you giving time and space being outraged and offended by this? Try dealing with a real issue.

  4. Bithead says:

    If it’s anti-American Castro can be depended upon to defend it.

    Rather like our own press, that way.

  5. RA says:

    Communists and American hating leftists in lock step with each other. The American hating left is far more dangerous than the Islamofacists are to the security and prosperity of the US.

  6. McGehee says:

    Vogon Poetry.

    Now that’s a war crime.

  7. odograph says:

    Castro got it totally wrong. The interesting moral question revolves around two facts:

    – a woman and a child were among the dead,

    – troops were close enough to get to the house before Zarqawi died.

    Now, should we have tried a foot-on-ground raid to reduce civilian casualties? And, how do we measure “minimum” civilian casualties these days?

    I don’t ask this because I think the question is easy, or because the military got it wrong … it’s more troubling to me that collateral damage is yielding less comment as the war drags on.

  8. James Joyner says:

    odo: I’m all for minimizing collateral damage but apparently they thought an air strike faster and thus more likely to ensure Zarqawi didn’t escape. Certainly, with a target this high on the pecking order, one takes more risks.

  9. floyd says:

    mcgehee; i think it’s only the third worst in the universe!

  10. McGehee says:

    mcgehee; i think it�s only the third worst in the universe!

    That’s because mine is the second worst.