"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Zarqawi Is Dead

The killing of insurgency leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is a major accomplishment for the Iraqi government and allied forces, without question. The question now is how much difference it will make in the hostilities there. Certainly the Sunni hatred of Shias, which Zarqawi worked hard to foment, will remain, as will the corresponding feeling of Shias toward Sunnis. That is the heart of the conflict, and this does not change that. Zarqawi was a skilled tactician and strong leader, but replacements will arise. However, it is important to remember that each leader killed is a message to the rest: We're coming for you, and it's only a matter of time. Leaders do make a difference.

Of course, having bin Laden's head on a platter would send a much stronger message, but let us be happy with each victory in the long process of bringing some sense to a highly disturbed region of the world.

3 comments:

Amy & Jordan said...

The press coverage I have been hearing does make me wonder how much of a difference such an event will make, beyond the sort of "sending a message" or dare I say "moral" victory (of course I have been listening to NPR).

It strikes me that there is a long line of willing replacements, and the martyr complex does at least a little to mitigate the fear of "we're coming for you next."

From their perspective, it may well be, "Zarqawi is dead, long live Maisara," or whatever jihadist is the successor to the throne.

James Elliott said...

While the long term effects are indeed in doubt, I'd say the news still deserved to be greeted with happy dances, like the one I did in front of the TV when I heard the news from those lovely people at "Good Morning America" yesterday.

Tlaloc said...

I'd be happier if we hadn't already found out that the pentagon lied consistently to play up his importance. How about taking out one of the actual terrorist leaders?