If only….

I wish the death of Iraq’s murderer-in-chief would make a difference but I fear that, as a Times columnist I can’t link to said the other day, we’re no longer fighting his insurgency. It’s worse. We’re fighting anarchy.

: Glenn Reynolds says: “Is it just me, or is the Middle East a lot like 7th Grade with RPGs?”

  • http://www.michaelkatcher.com Michael Katcher

    An alternative viewpoint…

    I think that al-Zarqawi’s death is actually a very real turning point, or has the potential to be. Let’s remember that this was an engineered insurgency, supported materially and rhetorically by leaders of the Sunni community. If I’m right, this would signal a very important change.

  • David

    Too bad Shrub didn’t take him out when he had the chance…imagine if Zarqawi was allowed to live by Clinton. Just think what the right wing nuts and their enablers like Jarvis would be saying right now.

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2006_06/008971.php

    NBC News has learned that long before the war the Bush administration had several chances to wipe out his terrorist operation and perhaps kill Zarqawi himself — but never pulled the trigger.

    In June 2002, U.S. officials say intelligence had revealed that Zarqawi and members of al-Qaida had set up a weapons lab at Kirma, in northern Iraq, producing deadly ricin and cyanide.

    The Pentagon quickly drafted plans to attack the camp with cruise missiles and airstrikes and sent it to the White House, where, according to U.S. government sources, the plan was debated to death in the National Security Council.

    “Here we had targets, we had opportunities, we had a country willing to support casualties, or risk casualties after 9/11 and we still didn’t do it,” said Michael O’Hanlon, military analyst with the Brookings Institution.

  • David

    It is good to see that Jarvis has finally come to his senses and given up cheerleading another “turning point” in iraq. Just a few months ago Jeffrey would have gotten on his high horse and trumpeted this news as a turning point as he did with ever other “positive” news that came out of Iraq. Only to have a few more dead GI’s and innocent iraqi’s show up on his door steps the next day and the day after and the day after. I wonder exactly when Jarvis joined the reality based crowd…

    “We’re fighting anarchy. ”

    Anarchy that you were so happy to create in the first place.

  • Thedude

    THe only turning point is that the Bush administration will need a new boodie man to keep the people scared. Bush and his cronies cannot survive without a Goldberg. THe enemies face will shift; too who will be interesting. The leader of Iran has potential. Pay attention as they do this.

  • http://blogoland.blogspot.com Jon

    Careful, Jeff, or those uber-patriots might come after you for not being joyous enough.

  • http://www.oliverwillis.com Oliver Willis

    How will he get into the fancy parties then?

  • penny

    Too bad Shrub didn’t take him out when he had the chance…imagine if Zarqawi was allowed to live by Clinton.

    Too bad Clinton didn’t accept Bin Laden when the Sudan offered to extradite him.

    http://www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2004/3/25/124653.shtml

    Hey, dude, Bush in’t the only world leader worried about Iran or haven’t you noticed?

  • http://www.michaelkatcher.com Michael Katcher

    Ah, uninformed partisan bickering from the left-wing blog set. Always so amusing. The only people who view Iraq as anarchy are those that get their news from mainstream American media. Anyone with a half-way informed opinion (say from professional intelligence sources like Stratfor) would know that – and this applies to all geopolitics, so listen good lefties – things are rarely as simple as they seem.

    The insurgency raged because the Sunni leadership allowed it to. It was a bargaining chip. The Sunnis have gotten what they wanted, a seat of power at the table, and in return they have given up the insurgency. Evidence? Look at this timeline.

    1) al-Zarqawi is killed (by fighter planes, not Predator drones).
    2) Hours later, the Iraqi government announces appointment of three controversial cabinet positions that haven’t been filled since the election in January (Defense, Interior, National Security).
    3) U.S. forces conduct 17 seperate raids on jihadists operating in Iraq.

    If you can’t see the logical argument that the Sunnis traded the insurgency for power…

  • NN

    Ah, the usual uninformed blathering from the wingnut 101st fighting Keyboarders.

    You know, those people who claim that things are just spick and span in Iraq. Those people who do mathematical tricks like comparing the death rate for the whole US with Baghdad and claiming that it shows things are just fine, like a little puppy (but much less cute) who digs up a mess and brings it to us.

    Now listen wingnuts, we know well that things are rarely as simple as they seem — after all, we were not the ones who proclaimed that we could build post war Iraq with 60Billion, and 140K troops in a few months.


    1) al-Zarqawi is killed (by fighter planes, not Predator drones).
    2) Hours later, the Iraqi government announces appointment of three controversial cabinet positions that haven’t been filled since the election in January (Defense, Interior, National Security).
    3) U.S. forces conduct 17 seperate raids on jihadists operating in Iraq.

    We know that 3) was something that was triggered by documents found in 1), and raids of sites that the US discovered en route to finding Z, but didn’t want to raid until finding him.

    So was there a deal of some kind ? Possibly, but we also hear that Jordanian Intelligence helped to find Z or that the US tracked down his advisor. All are not mutually exclusive. It may also be the case that Sunni insurgents wanted him gone because he was too violent and anarchic, but don’t intend to put down their arms yet.

    So there are several possible explanations. Wingnuts of course only see the explanation that is most favorable to them, doubtless a product of their faith based reasoning.

    So yes, its possible that Sunnis traded in Zarqawi

  • http://www.michaelkatcher.com Michael Katcher

    I’m not sure how exactly your post shows that I am ‘uninformed’. I offered my personal opinion of the behind-the-scenes deals that led to Zarqawi’s capture. You disagree. We read the tealeaves differently. But neither of us is uninformed.

    As for the first two paragraphs, while I appreciate that its necessary to unleash frustration on neocons who planned this war so poorly, and executed it even worse (the copy of The Economist that I’ve chosen from my archive to adorn my bathroom for reading carries the headline ‘Resign, Rumsfeld’) I think it’s probably better to save your fiery rhetoric for those who actually disagree. Also, might a suggest fewer puppy metaphors?

  • http://www.michaelkatcher.com Michael Katcher

    And for the record, I somehow doubt that U.S. forces dropped 2 500-pound bombs on Zarqawi’s house, then found the intelligence, analyzed it, and tasked 17 sepertae raiding parties, all in the same night.

  • erg


    And for the record, I somehow doubt that U.S. forces dropped 2 500-pound bombs on Zarqawi’s house, then found the intelligence, analyzed it, and tasked 17 sepertae raiding parties, all in the same night.

    Thats not what I said. I said that I thought they had detected a lot of the safe houses earlier, but left them intact to avoid alarming Z until he had been captured or killed.


    As for the first two paragraphs, while I appreciate that its necessary to unleash frustration on neocons who planned this war so poorly, and executed it even worse (the copy of The Economist that I’ve chosen from my archive to adorn my bathroom for reading carries the headline ‘Resign, Rumsfeld’) I think it’s probably better to save your fiery rhetoric for those who actually disagree.

    Actually my current frustation isn’t even so much with neocons. Its with the bogus stats that some right wingers have been presenting to show that things in Iraq are just fine. I read an article comparing the total murders in May in Baghdad with that in the US (slightly less in the US) and claiming that this showed that Baghdad wasn’t that bad. I need hardly add that since the US has a population 60 times that of Baghdad, these stats are totally bogus