A Note on the Death of Abu Museb Al-Zarqaawi

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One aspect
of the recent spectacular bombing death of alleged Iraqi terror
leader Abu Al-Zarqaawi has thus far passed without comment. This
sad fact is yet another indication of the conditioned tolerance
we have absorbed regarding the ongoing killing of innocent civilians
there.

We are told
that along with the alleged u201CMr. Bigu201D of Iraqi terror, his u201Cspiritual
advisoru201D (who led the U.S. to him) was killed as well as a yet unidentified
u201Cwoman and child.u201D The supposed spiritual advisor has not been labeled
a terrorist and no one has commented on whether his death was in
fact justified. As for the woman and child, no one has identified
them either (at least in the western press to date).

For the sake
of argument let's assume Al-Zarqaawi was indeed as evil as he is
portrayed. I have no evidence to the contrary.

Let us again
suppose that he was a ruthless serial killer of Americans here in
the U.S., and that law enforcement trapped him in a remote house
in a California date palm orchard along with his minister and an
unknown u201Cwoman and child.u201D And that they were all surrounded by
law enforcement (as was Al-Zarqaawi in Iraq surrounded by U.S. and
Iraqi military).

Would we not
be horrified and outraged to learn that instead of waiting out a
surrender or at least offering to wait until the hostages/innocents
could be safely extricated, that the U.S. government decided to
drop two 500 lb. bombs on this surrounded house? Killing everyone
inside instantly, except for Mr. Big, who somehow survived a bit
longer?

Even the worst
serial killer would not have been u201Ccapturedu201D in a way that killed
three other people, at least two of whom seem to be mere victims
of bad circumstance. While there have been notable exceptions (the
Branch Davidians, the Philadelphia MOVE group) law enforcement doesn't
normally ignore the presence of others, hostages or innocents, even
to capture the worst criminals. And with the Davidians and MOVE,
they were offered a chance to surrender and bombing wasn't the first
thing done.

Yet in Iraq
the killing of women and children is totally ignored so long as
u201CMr. Bigu201D is killed. The valuable intelligence and even propaganda
value of capturing this guy was totally ignored in the rush to bomb
him into oblivion, along with anyone else in a 100-yard radius.

The horrific
element here is that unlike incidents involving Marines revenge
killing people hiding in their houses, no one even blinks at these
other deaths. Not a single word of condemnation is uttered. We are
conditioned to think that this savagery is normal, even expected,
even laudable.

I recall at
least one reported incident during the original invasion of Baghdad
when a restaurant was bombed (u201Cprecision bombingu201D we are told) in
a vain attempt to kill Saddam Hussein. Only later, after DNA tests
on the shattered remains were conducted, did word filter out that
Saddam wasn't even there, but that others were, including a 5-year-old
girl. Not a peep of commentary about her senseless death. Just another
statistic for the u201Ccollateral damageu201D tally.

So the rule
has been, and is, that the U.S. forces can kill anyone and everyone,
no matter how young or old, if they happen to be unlucky enough
to end up where some U.S. mission planner thinks a valuable target
is located. Bombs away!

These innocent
children (and others) are killed as a matter of policy. We
are supposed to cheer (or moan) depending on whether the particular
Mr. Bigs are actually killed, but as for the rest, well, they are
as insects on the ground. Sometimes blood money is paid out by military
u201Ccivil affairsu201D officers to grieving families, sometimes not.

Yet we are
bombarded with war propaganda about children going to newly re-opened
Iraqi schools and grimy looking Iraqi kids getting inoculations
by military medics. All hail democracy! It's for the children!

Iraqi parents
just have to hope that their little Iraqi loved ones don't happen
to end up underneath one of those precision guided laser bombsights
of democracy… To America, those deaths don't count, aren't even
acknowledged, much less condemned. They are just somebody else's
children who got in our way. To George Bush's Wehrmacht,
those kids don't even exist.

Yet some continue
to wonder why they hate us. Why the endless Iraqi carnage drags
on. Why after one Mr. Big is taken out, a dozen more take his place.
And why by all sides, children and innocents are killed without
giving it a second thought.

June 12,
2006

Mike
Holmes [send him mail]
is a libertarian CPA in the Houston area.

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