Ahh... that most able of terrorists Abu Musab Zarqawi is history and so, it appears is the memory of those not lamenting him over much. So let us take a bit of a walk down memory lane... Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Then & Now.
Richard Clarke, then (10 NOV 2005, ABC News):
"I think we have to consider the possibility that Zarqawi will attack the coalition in other countries, perhaps in Europe, Australia or even the United States," said Richard Clarke, a former White House counter-terrorism advisor who is now an ABC News consultant.Richard Clarke, Now (8 JUN 2006, ABC News):
Zarqawi's bold and brazen acts of terror, including personal involvement in the beheading of Western hostages and the hundreds of Iraqi bomb attacks, have catapulted him into a dominant leadership role in al Qaeda worldwide.
"He has a following now that is much, much larger than it was before the war," Clarke said.
Clarke said the modest size of the terrorist leader's organization and his minimal involvement in the daily bomb attacks on coalition forces made that claim unlikely.
Though al-Zarqawi was a symbol of terrorism, he commanded only a few hundred people out of tens of thousands involved in the insurgency, Clarke told "Good Morning America."
The Jordanian-born terror leader was behind many high profile attacks and beheadings, Clarke said, but was not involved in most of the roadside bombings that have made Iraq so dangerous for coalition troops.
"Al Qaeda in Iraq was probably the smallest of the 14 major insurgent groups," Clarke said.
Despite the name of his group, al-Zarqawi acted independently of Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda terror network, Clarke noted.
"He had his own group that he was making a network in Europe and the Middle East."
Clarke doubted, however, that al-Zarqawi's death would be an effective recruitment tool to lure new terrorist and insurgent recruits.
So which is it, Mr. Clarke: A leading threat to new attacks or a small and ineffectual group with a few folks scattered around? You make the call because, apparently, Mr. Clarke cannot.
From the folks at Kos, Then:
Hong Pong, 10 APR 2006: Iran War is on; "Zarqawi" is a Pentagon PSY OPS operation!! Really!
Balzac, 5 APR 2006 Zarqawi is a Hoax, 8 APR 2006 Zarqawi Jumps the Shark, 10 APR 2006 Zarqawi Jumps the Shark, Part 2
Ludd, 16 MAR 2006: Saddam Trying to Capture Zarqawi
lapin, 27 DEC 2004: Scott Ritter on the Zarqawi Myth
BooMan23, 10 APR 2006: The Myth of Zarqawi Confirmed
ECH, 29 MAY 2006: The Pentagon orders an emergency deployment of troops to Iraq , and this priceless quote from that poster's diary....
In Ramadi, "Zarqawi is the one who is in control," the sheik said, speaking to a Washington Post special correspondent in Ramadi. "He kills anyone who goes in and out of the U.S. base. We have stopped meetings with the Americans, because, frankly speaking, we have lost confidence in the U.S. side, as they can't protect us."ReddHedd, 5 SEP 2005: Al Qaeda Controls Key Iraqi Border Region... , to be fair this poster does care somewhat about things going on, but has little strategic perspective, and so gives this wind-up quote:
Think about that: Zarqawi has HIS OWN BANNER for Al Qaeda in Iraq. Guess that's to distinguish it from Al Qaeda in Afghanistan or Pakistan or the US or whatever. But he has organized things to the point where he has had time to design a banner for his Al Qaeda cell and have it reproduced and then hung it around town in Qaim. Un-freaking-believable. I swear, this news story had better hit the MSM on television tomorrow. The incompetence just keeps on giving in this Administration.wah, 21 OCT 2004: The Kerry Campaign Has Made a HUGE Strategic Blunder in which this quote is sublime:
It's curious that Bush would mention 'Zarqawi' in such stark and fearful terms as many people consider 'Zarqawi' to be something of a phantom himself.Dump Terry McAuliffe, 16 APR 2006: Experts: Iraq War Increased Likelihood of Attack on U.S
How Zarqawi Got AwayThat poster never explains why the US should have paid attention to him when there were real forces to fight. It was not planned that the Iraqi Military would *disintegrate*. If we could have planned that we might have had time to drop some extra ordinance on every place a terrorist *might* be holding out. Then again, that might cause civilian casualties... to be avoided if you can do so. Can't win for losing, I guess.
Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has become the administration's latest bogeyman in Iraq. What the mainstream media haven't reported is that the U.S. had a chance to take him out before the Iraq war started. At that time, he was at the terrorist camp at Khurmal, a part of Iraq nominally within Kurdish territory not controlled by Kurdish authorities either. The camp was producing ricin, and the U.S. knew it, but did our military didn't wipe out the camp until after the war began. One possible explanation was that the administration wanted to use Zarqawi's presence there as "proof" of a Saddam-al-Queda connection. Another is that it saw Zarqawi as a lower-order threat than Saddam and chose not to deal with him. If either of these explanations is true, it was ineptitude of the first order.
I guess the folks at dKos will simply say that Zarqawi is a "mostly dead myth" now and complain about why the soldiers haven't caught a man and a few associates playing 'hide and seek' in the mountainous border regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Like this post. That is what happens when you kill a mystical creation of no real substance whatsoever.....
Scott Ritter, Then (07 JAN 2005, Aljazeera):
Al-Zarqawi was everywhere, his bombers striking in Mosul, Baghdad, Samarra, Najaf, Baquba, Ramadi and Falluja. Islamist websites published accounts of al-Zarqawi's actions, and the western media, together with western intelligence services, ran with these stories, giving them credibility. The al-Zarqawi legend, if one can call it that, was born.
The problem is, there is simply no substance to this legend, as US marines are now finding out. Rather than extremist foreign fighters battling to the death, the marines are mostly finding local men from Falluja who are fighting to defend their city from what they view as an illegitimate occupier. The motivations of these fighters may well be anti-American, but they are Iraqi, not foreign, in origin.
I do await Mr. Ritter's pronouncements on the 'Myth of Zarqawi' and how he was really just a front for Saddam's secret police to be extolled from him. Or to admit, at this late date, that Mr. Zarqawi was a thug, a brutal terrorist and one who used fear and intimidation and some number of killings to keep people in line. Which squares pretty well with what he did and with outside funding he was even able to channel funds *back* to Osama. Not bad for a myth!
Dr. Sanity is covering this angle very well... I am just adding my couple of pennies into it.
So, whenever you hear any *good* news, expect the Leftists to say: "Yes, its good, but....."
And never, ever, leave well enough alone and smile at something good actually happening in the world. The term for this: NAYSAYERS.
And they have all EARNED it.