Andrew C. McCarthy: "It was not democracy that killed Zarqawi. It was the United States military."
My observation, so far, is that the conservative media have hailed the successful termination of Zarqawi, while many Democrats and the mainstream media have low-balled it, questioned its true value, reiterated their worn-out mantra that Osama bin Laden has still not been caught or killed, and pointed out that the Taliban are increasing in numbers in part of Afghanistan.
As is their habit, they found something to complain about that has not yet been accomplished and demanded a pull-out of troops by an abbreviated timetable. That would be, of course, before all objectives have been met and victory is achieved. In other words, it's a continuation of the anti-war crowd's campaign to snatch failure out of the jaws of victory.
To them, it would be preferable to have a Vietnam style result, with their being able to say President George W. Bush lost, or walked away from, the war. They crave a Republican administration failure that they can use as a major plank in their campaign platform to take back the Congress this year and win the White House in 2008.
That's why they can't rejoice in all the progress and successes already achieved in Iraq. Saddam Hussein was removed from power and is now facing Iraqi justice, his two sons were killed, millions of Iraqis risked their lives to vote in three elections, a constitution was written and approved, a parliament was elected and has been meeting, officers have been elected and appointments have been made and approved for all cabinet-level ministries. Those are awesome achievements for a brand new government rising out of the ashes of tyranny.
But all the anti-war whiners can say is "Bring the troops home!" Well, I'm sure our troops and the vast majority of the American people---including me---will be happy to tell them that our twenty-first century American military does not cut and run and we do not want political decisions made that require them to forfeit Iraq and the Iraqi people to al Qaeda or to the Iran-Syria alliance that would be more than glad to fill up the void.
Below are some excerpts from the McCarthy piece. Or you can read it all here.
"A Crucial Moment: Zarqawi’s demise, our opportunity."
"Simply stated, the killing of Abu Musab Zarqawi by U.S. forces in Iraq is more vital to ultimate success in the war on terror than would be snuffing out any other terrorist alive right now. Period.
For close to five years, al Qaeda’s top leaders, Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, have been reduced to hurling video threats rather than bombs as they scurry from place to place trying to stay one step ahead of the grim reaper. In vivid contrast, Zarqawi, the Jordanian-born emir of “al Qaeda in Mesopotamia,” has been a vibrant, hands-on leader. As he committed atrocity after atrocity, for years and seemingly with impunity, Zarqawi became a mythic figure in a part of the world where mythology has vastly more cachet than reality...
Hopefully, Zarqawi’s demise is a clarifying event in the United States—for the administration, the Congress, and—hope against hope—the media. This was the real American military in action, in all its effectiveness, doing what the American people sent it to do despite often impossibly difficult circumstances: namely, eliminate nondescript terrorists who strike in stealth then weave themselves back into the civilian population.
It is a mission our brave men and women—again, the real American military—perform brilliantly, day in and day out, despite lethal danger to themselves and immense pressure to perform flawlessly. Yet, what we hear about back home is Abu Ghraib. What we hear about is Haditha—as to which the anti-war champion of the current fifteen minutes, Congressman Jack Murtha, is poised to accord our Marines a lot less due process than he and other members are extending to their radioactive colleague, Rep. William Jefferson.
What we might want to remember from time to time is that ever since we unleashed our forces, no American city has had to bury thousands of its dead or gaze upon barren craters where skyscrapers once stood...
The American people vigorously support, and have always vigorously supported, the deployment of our military for the purpose of capturing and killing terrorists in promotion of American national security—taking the battle to enemy so we don’t need to fight them here. That is the Iraq mission we have always stood behind...
Of course we must support the long-term goals of the democracy project. But we must be realistic that they are long-term goals. Democracy in the Islamic world is a matter of cultural upheaval over years, not just a few elections...
It was not democracy that killed Zarqawi. It was the United States military. We began the war on terror with the clear-eyed understanding that Islamic militants cannot be reasoned with; they have to be eradicated. Winning the war on terror will require the resolve to let our forces do their job—despite occasional vilification from fair-weather allies who bask in the protection of American power while shouldering none of its burdens.
Today (June 8, 2006) reminds us that we have the power to get the job done..."