Monday, June 12, 2006

Live By the Sword — Die by the Sword

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's death had an ironic quality about it. He was a man empowered, made famous by GW Bush's blundering invasion of Iraq, and his life was violently ended by two US 500 pound bombs dropped on his head — had Bush not provided him rich opportunities for jihadist mischief, doubt whether he would have made the rank of shoeshine boy in the Al Qaeda network.

In terrorism, like the other fields in the kingdom of the blind, where there are no sign posts to guide you, the one-eyed man is king. Zarqawi, with all his murderous instincts, was the father of the Sunni insurgency in Iraq, but was quickly to be marginalized as the national led insurgency developed with local leaders.

With each release of his promotional tapes, it appeared that he was suffering from the cult of personality where he fancied himself more important than the movement itself — his last tape where he fumbles with a jammed automatic weapon and required assistance was zany.

With twenty-five million dollars on his head, Bush made him a real bandit hero — it will be interesting to learn how the reward is distributed. Bush will now need a new villain to personalize — to explain his own failures and pass on the blame. In the scheme of the insurgency, Zarqawi was responsible for only 5% of the sectarian violence. Bush preferred to blame Al Qaeda for his miseries in Iraq — he still cannot face facts; it is a broad based, anti-American insurgency. The only thing the Sunnis and the Shiites agree on is their hatred of the American occupation. The Iraq insurgency has very little to do with the war on terror — it is a colonial war that Bush masks as a war on terror...

Bush has already called Zarqawi’s death a turning point in the war — if true, it has to be Bush's 695th turning point in the war. The same time he announced his new turning point, 40 Iraqis died from terrorist blows.

At this stage it is uncertain whether Zarqawi’s death will make the insurgency stronger by removing friction among the insurgents, or weaker by removing a mad dog who raged the country — who took orders from no one.

One thing for certain, there is one less crazy Jhadist and American forces should be congratulated for taking him out. Despite this success, I remain troubled about just what the US forces have accomplished after the fall of the Saddam. Still no nation wide security. US troops live in fortified areas and are picked off as they race between them — the Green Zone, like a Star Wars colony, is safe because of massive American troop presence — step out of it and you can die quickly — most reconstruction projects are stalled by lack of security — standing up Iraqi troops so far is a joke. Coalition command will provide you increased numbers, but the fact is that the locus of Iraqi military power resides in the militias and US training has made the militias better trained fighters — problem is the central government does not control them. Electric, water and gas situation is worse than pre-war.

If you want to count the formation of a new permanent Iraq government as a success, be my guest — until this gang produces something other then meetings and photo ops, I suggest you hold your judgement — corruption is a way of life — billions have already disappeared while they just have been practicing to run a unified government.

Next time you get a pro-war, stay-the-course politician like Senator McCain or Senator Lieberman... watch them handle the question of pull out — they predict non-specific doom and gloom — catastrophes of biblical proportions. So remember, Israel has these two in its pocket as you listen.

Did hear from another pro-war blowhard that if the US left, Shiites would be under Iranian hegemony — the Saudis would control Sunni lands and the Turks would control Kurdistan — sounds okay to me — no more Americans dying and supporting chaos with its treasury. We certainly would find out quickly whether Halliburton can survive in a competitive environment. Colonel Robert E Bartos USA RET


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