Thursday, June 08, 2006


Al-Zarqawi was an evil bastard and i'm glad he's dead (now if only we could direct two 500-pound bombs on to Fred Phelps). However, i found it really strange that they had a large, framed photograph of al-Zarqawi at the press conference. I understand that it's important to present proof that al-Zarqawi is dead, but the photo was kind of creepy. Had they shown the image digitally or given it to the news organizations to show in an inset, it would have seemed less strange i think. The poster-size, framed photo they were using in the press conference was the modern day equivalent of mounting the enemy's head on the top of your keep wall. Which, i'm sure, was the intent. But still.

There's probably a certain psychological benefit in killing al-Zarqawi, both within Iraq and here in the states. But can anyone really believe that it makes a significant difference? Does anyone feel that the Iraqi insurgency was organized along the lines of a typical military establishment or nation-state, so that killing the leader disrupts the whole organism? Perhaps i've been reading too much Global Guerillas, but to think that this was like killing Hitler or even Saddam seems mistaken. John Robb on GG calls Zarqawi a "violence capitalist", an idea that i can understand. He wasn't like the CEO of a multinational corporation; he was like a venture capitalist who directed resources and ideas toward people who were already willing to undertake the work. Eliminating him will definitely leave a temporary void in the enterprise of terrorism, but you can't spur chaos where chaos is the method of choice.

No comments: