Last week, an airstrike killed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq and of the so-called Iraqi resistance. Of course I am relieved and glad that the world got rid of a mass murderer. So are most people who comment over his death. Not all, of course. Hamas mourns him, some people in Jordan express sympathy (I thought nobody would after he exploded a wedding there for no apparent reason). Michael Berg, father of Zarqawi's victim Nicholas Berg (see previous post), told AP that "the blame for most deaths in Iraq should be placed on
President Bush' name. He is more of a terrorist than Zarqawi. Zarqawi felt my son's breath on his hand as held the knife against his throat. Zarqawi had to look in his eyes when he did it. George Bush sits there glassy-eyed in his office with pieces of paper and condemns people to death. That to me is a real terrorist."
Quite the opposite, I think. Throughout human history, leaders have waged wars for different reasons, and all wars bring atrocities. However, most of these leaders felt no need to participate in the atrocities directly, while Zarqawi is believed to have beheaded some of his victims himself. As Ralph Peters wrote, "Zarqawi was the video star, the Great Beheader who treated helpless prisoners as sheep to be slaughtered. Although his gory antics ultimately alienated Muslims of conscience, to the extremists and the wannabes he was his god’s avenger" (http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=22891).
Did Zarqawi cut people's throats because he thought it useful for his cause, or just because he liked it? I vote for the latter. To me, his "cause" was a mere justification for his sadism. Without it, he would find another outlet; he is said to have been a gangster before stepping on the path of jihad. His photos show the eerie look of a serial murderer. Michael Berg said "the loss of any human being is a tragedy". True, but don't Zarqawi's deeds disqualify him from human race? He rather reminds me of the monsters that in horror movies fly into the windows at night to drink people's blood. The movies tell us how to deal with such creatures: (1) close the windows to prevent more of them from entering, (2) find a way to deal with those already in, and (3) wait for the night to end, because only daylight will bring safety.
Yes, the problem is "the night", the environment that creates and condones monsters like Zarqawi. The ordinary Iraqis who commented on Nick Berg's beheading, "Yes, it's bad, but did you see the Abu Ghraib photos?". The sympathetic Palestinians and Jordanians. Don't they think that if there was no jihad and Zarqawi had remained in Zarqa, somebody would periodically be missing from the neighbourhood and later corpses would be found? And how could thousands of Iraqi and foreigh fighters follow Zarqawi without being bothered by his monstrosity? If he was a monster, what are the above mentioned people? The politically correct folks tell us that Islamists are good people like us turned into our enemies by some terrible misunderstanding. At the moment when Pres. Bush is videotaped cutting the throat of a prisoner, I'll admit that the politically correct folks are right.
I guess nobody in Bulgaria is more relieved by Zarqawi's death than the families of his Bulgarian victims - a dozen of soldiers and two truck drivers, who were abducted and then killed. Of course nothing can bring back their loved ones, but now at least they know the monster received his due.