November 20, 2005

Has Zarqawi's Luck Run Out at Last?

Hatched by Dafydd

Musab Zarqawi has had an amazing number of close scrapes and stunning escapes. The most dramatic was when he was in a car being pursued by American forces, and his driver stopped under a bridge, allowing Zarqawi to leap out and evade apprehension (he had to leave his laptop behind in the car, which was captured with the driver; both yielded much valuable intelligence). He's had such a run that it seems the only explanation is that somebody down there likes him.

But it's possible -- not proven, not even yet claimed by our military, but possible -- that Zarqawi has finally gone to Allah to be sent downstairs to meet his benefactor. (Note that this has been claimed before, and rumors of Zarqawi's death have always been exaggerated in the past.)

All that we really know is that either we or the Iraqis received a tip that very high-value targets of al-Qaeda In Iraq were in a not-so-safe house; the house was surrounded by "U.S. forces" (the particular unit is not named in the article). There was heavy resistance from inside the house, the sort that often characterizes the presence of HVTs.

When the Coalition and Iraqi forces tried to force their way inside, one or more of the occupants set off explosives that destroyed the house, killing everyone inside (eight bodies, one of them female) -- but sadly, also four Iraqi soldiers and ten policemen, according to Omar at Iraq the Model, who cites (and links to) the news site Al Mada. Alas, the site is in Arabic, so I can't read it; if any reader here reads Arabic, please tell me what it says!

(Hat tip to Mudville Gazette for the Iraq the Model link.)

Al Mada has sources that believe one of those killed was Musab Zarqawi, but the United States has not yet conducted DNA tests (or if we have, we have not yet released the results). Let's all keep our fingers crossed that the house turns out to be Zarqawi's tomb.

I have believed for some time that al-Qaeda In Iraq has become a cult of personality, if indeed it was ever anything but. Typically, as in the Palestinian Territory, you have not one but a number of different terrorist groups who spend as much time fighting each other as fighting against the decent. But I have not heard of any other Sunni terrorist groups in Iraq besides Zarqawi's... which leads me to believe that Zarqawi has become an iconic figure to the Sunni-side terrorists, enough so that nobody dared challenge his authority.

If indeed he has been killed, he will be considered a martyr; there's no getting around that. But -- while a dead martyr may be revered, he cannot keep the terrorists from splitting into warring factions the way a living Zarqawi has done. The dead cannot recruit as well as the living, nor can they plot and plan horrific attacks with the same boldness and gut-sense of their victims' vulnerabilities.

If Zarqawi has been slain, the effectiveness of the Iraq jihad will be shattered. Within a few weeks, they will run out of Zarqawi-created operations; they may splinter even sooner than that. In any event, al-Qaeda In Iraq cannot survive the death of its cultic figure, I believe, not in its present form and effectiveness (effective only at slaughtering innocent Iraqi civilians -- but that's bad enough).

So let's hope the evil doer is no longer sucking air. As I have found many occasions to say, all human life has value... but sometimes that value is a negative number.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, November 20, 2005, at the time of 3:39 PM

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» Al-Zarqawi Death Doubtful from bRight & Early
Like a bad imitation of Chevy Chase on SNL I could have titled this post, "Al-Zarqawi, Still Not Dead". Early speculation was that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi could have been among those killed in a gunfight in Mosul. AP reports, U.S. forces sealed off a ho... [Read More]

Tracked on November 21, 2005 3:13 AM

» While You Were Sunk In a Stupor... from Big Lizards
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Tracked on November 21, 2005 4:17 AM

» Zarqawi: Planting IEDs or Pushing Up Daisies? from Big Lizards
We're still waiting for final word on whether any of the bodies found after the gunfight we discussed here more than a week ago was that of Musab Zarqawi. Last we heard, the Pentagon was testing the DNA... but we... [Read More]

Tracked on November 28, 2005 2:19 AM


The following hissed in response by: Bill Faith

Dafydd, are you sure it's accurate to call al-Zarqawi "human life?" I'm betting that when he finally meets his 72 virgins they'll all be 300 pound males who think he's just the cutest little thing they've ever seen. I quoted you and linked at Did al-Zarqawi finally get his due?

The above hissed in response by: Bill Faith [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 20, 2005 9:42 PM

The following hissed in response by: KarmiCommunist

Killing terrorists is the point, in my humble opinion, and i don't care when one or two miss being killed. Being on the run ain't to speak.

Perhaps Osama and Zarqawi have finally reached a point of dealing with their nightmares, but i doubt it. If they have reached that point, then they still worry each waking moment about who they meet, who they have around them, and what even each sound means. Zarqawi is even trying to convince the Jordanians that he didn't mean to kill some of them recently, so he is still having nightmares plus the waking moments.

Hiding for the rest of your life ain't easy, and it is most certainly not enjoyable...well, unless one can deal with solitude in at least it's simplest forms.

Basically, kill Terrorists until the Arab, Muslim, and Islamic worlds stop passing out candy to their Children after something like 911. Bomb-belts are fine, but candy is an insult to me. Kill them until they have no fight nothing other than the option to run and hide for the rest of their lives if they are too afraid to fight or wear a bomb-belt.


The above hissed in response by: KarmiCommunist [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 21, 2005 4:29 PM

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