Radical Left Calling Zarqawi Death Political Stunt
Michael Berg, whose son Nicholas was the first man beheaded on video by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, said today that Zarqawi’s death is a tragedy and President Bush is a bigger terrorist.
The father of Nicholas Berg, a U.S. contractor believed to have been beheaded by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Iraq, said Thursday that al-Zarqawi’s killing will only perpetuate the cycle of violence in the Middle East. “I think al-Zarqawi’s death is a double tragedy,” Michael Berg told The Associated Press after learning a U.S. airstrike had killed the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq. “His death will incite a new wave of revenge. George Bush and al-Zarqawi are two men who believe in revenge.”
Al-Zarqawi is believed to have beheaded two American civilians in 2004: Nicholas Berg, a 26-year-old businessman from West Chester, Pa., and Eugene Armstrong, a 52-year-old contractor from Hillsdale, Mich. Jack Hensley, a 48-year-old engineer from Marietta, Ga., was abducted at the same time as Armstrong and also killed.
Armstrong’s family did not want to discuss al-Zarqawi. “An evil man is dead, and what more can you say?” said family spokeswoman Cyndi Armstrong, the wife of the slain contractor’s cousin.
Michael Berg, a pacifist who is running for Delaware’s lone House seat on the Green Party ticket, said al-Zarqawi’s death is likely to foster anti-American resentment among al-Qaida members who feel they have nothing left to lose.
Berg said the blame for most deaths in Iraq should be placed on President Bush, who he said is “more of a terrorist than Zarqawi.” “Zarqawi felt my son’s breath on his hand as held the knife against his throat. Zarqawi had to look in his eyes when he did it,” Berg added, pausing to collect himself. “George Bush sits there glassy-eyed in his office with pieces of paper and condemns people to death. That to me is a real terrorist.”
The man’s certifiable, I’m afraid. To say that President Bush is more responsible for the murders committed by terrorists in Iraq than the terrorists themselves requires a moral perspective I never encountered in my college philosophy and political theory courses.
Sadly, he was joined by the usual suspects on the Loony Left.
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.”
Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich, Ohio Democrat, said Zarqawi was a small part of “a growing anti-American insurgency” and that it’s time to get out. “We’re there for all the wrong reasons,” Mr. Kucinich said.
Christopher Hitchens is also having none of it.
Zarqawi contributed enormously to the wrecking of Iraq’s experiment in democratic federalism. He was able to help ensure that the Iraqi people did not have one single day of respite between 35 years of war and fascism, and the last three-and-a-half years of misery and sabotage. He chose his targets with an almost diabolical cunning, destroying the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad (and murdering the heroic envoy Sérgio Vieira de Melo) almost before it could begin operations, and killing the leading Shiite Ayatollah Hakim outside his place of worship in Najaf. His decision to declare a jihad against the Shiite population in general, in a document of which Weaver (on no evidence) doubts the authenticity, has been the key innovation of the insurgency: applying lethal pressure to the most vulnerable aspect of Iraqi society. And it has had the intended effect, by undermining Grand Ayatollah Sistani and helping empower Iranian-backed Shiite death squads.
He dismisses Berg’s conclusion even though granting his implied premise:
The man’s power was created only by the coalition’s intervention, and his connection to al Qaida was principally opportunistic. On this logic, the original mistake of the United States would have been to invade Afghanistan, thereby forcing Zarqawi to flee his camp outside Herat and repositioning him for a new combat elsewhere. Thus, fighting against al-Qaida is a mistake to begin with: It only encourages them.
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.
Exactly right. It just goes to show, as the old recruiting commercials told us, they do more before 9 a.m. than most folks do all day.
Thankfully, Berg, Stark, Kucinich, et. al. are a fringe element.
Officially, Democratic leaders reacted positively to the news and praised the troops that successfully targeted al Qaeda’s leader in Iraq with 500-pound bombs at his safe house 30 miles from Baghdad. “This is a good day for the Iraqi people, the U.S. military and our intelligence community,” said Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada.
Still, it is an election year:
Meanwhile, Democrats sprinkled caveats throughout their praise. “That is good news; he was a dreadful, vicious person,” said Sen. Kent Conrad, North Dakota Democrat. Mr. Conrad added that he hopes the military can get Osama bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahiri, another top al Qaeda leader. “They’re even more important,” he said.
Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, Michigan Democrat, said it was good news but added, “I think we have a long way to go.”