Friday, June 09, 2006
The Patient Died, But the Operation Was A Success!
This has to be one of the weirdest things I've ever seen: a vicious psycopath hours after being killed by a bomb, presented like a work of art.
Do I feel emotionally, spiritually or intellectually challenged? Absolutely!
And what does this picture say to me? It says to me that our world is increasingly defined not by intelligence and reason but stupidity and insanity, and in the most inane and seemingly inconsequential ways.
Last week the RCMP nabbed some would-be terrorists after a good deal of investigative work, and tagged a couple Brits in the process. The Brits recently conducted a major raid which has yet to turn up anything. One suspect got shot in the shoulder.
In the wake of the 7/7 bombings in London an innocent man was shot to death by police, but continued investigations nabbed the London bombers accomplices and supporters.
After the 3/11 train bombings in Spain, police work tracked down the perpetrators—some of them fought to the death others were captured. German and Italian police too have made their own arrests of potential and proven terrorists.
Note the common theme here—investigate and police.
Now; the US get’s tipped off as to the whereabouts of Zarqawi. By all accounts he's a sociopath and a psychopath and perhaps conflated by US rhetoric to a significant political figure in Iraq (a country where currently politics equals death and death equals politics) but still at least a self-proclaimed force, the leader of “Al Qaida in Iraq”.
And what’s the American reaction to the intelligence? Do they deploy Special Forces to grab him and his cohorts, so that they can then interrogate him and his colleagues and learn something about how he ran his operations, what resources and connections he had?
Instead they drop a 500lb bomb on him (that’s the smallest bomb in the US inventory at the moment).
In case you forgot, the London and Madrid bombs were only 10-15 pounds and they weren’t encased in fragmentary metal (which adds to the initial explosive force and distributes shrapnel with an initial velocity of around 2700 feet per second—two to three times faster than a bullet).
This is what the US calls a precision strike.
This is how the US apparently combats terrorist organizations—they just try and kill the leader.
I guess the idea here is that once you knock off the top guy, you fuck-up the entire org chart.
Now some poor sap has to re-arrange the Power Point presentation—assuming there’s a working laptop left after the precision strike.
Whatever evidence and intelligence there might have been at the site, if it hasn’t been charred to a crisp or blown away, it lies in the rubble waiting to be found after days of searching.
As many observers have already noted, on both sides of the US political aisle and the Arab press as well, whatever Zarqawi’s real or imagined political or military influence, his sudden and violent death is essentially irrelevant.
Had he and his cohorts lived, some intelligence and insight might have been gathered and lives might have been saved.
But no—Somebody high up decided it was better to blow Zarqawi to bits rather than to capture him alive and try to use him. Maybe US forces are stretched too thin these days to manage such a task.
Rule of thumb: when trying to prosecute or present any case, preserve the evidence rather than destroy it, and try not kill any material witnessess, or indeed the accused--it kind of undermines everything.