Monday, June 12, 2006

Bring Me the Head of Abu al-Zarqawi

In ancient times in many cultures, it was common practice to display an enemies head on a pike and parade through town after a victory.

When Oliver Cromwell was overthrown, his head was left out in the open for decades. Eventullay it was put in a box and displayed for local schoolchildren. This week’s “New Yorker” describes how in 1671, the Indian leader Metacom, known to the English as King Philip, he was forced to sign a treaty with the Plymouth Colony. Four years after signing the treaty, he led an uprising against the English. The colonists won, and Metacom’s head was cut off, mounted, and rotted on a pole in Plymouth for 25 years.

While it may not be easy to imagine what it was like to live in those times, recent events may help. For the past two days every newspaper and media web site and have triumphantly displayed the head of Abu al-Zarqawi, the just-killed leader of “al qaeda” in Iraq. No doubt a bad guy, though of course the U.S. has a habit of taking guys who are evil enough and turning them into a cross between the bogeyman and that shark from “Jaws.”

The rather repulsive display passed “unseemly” around yesterday afternoon and has progressed into full-blown “horrifying.” This guy was real scum – a psycho, not even Iraqi, will be missed by no one -– but for god’s sake, we killed a man. We didn’t free Iraq, or liberate anyone, or achieve anything. We didn’t even arrest him. We dropped 2 500 pound bombs on his house and he was killed. Or survived and then died. Or something. The truth is a little hard to come by with these guys.

But not only is all this celebrating offensive and ridiculous, building him up to be more important than he was, but we’ve done this end-zone dancing before, only to be shocked when the mission wasn’t accomplished.

I actually heard a journalist ask if the troops could come home now.

But then Blair said violence would increase in the short term. And in the long term someone will take Zarqawi’s place.

So what does that mean? It’s means we’re still screwed.


1 comment:

Stogie said...

Gee, we just can't win for losin', hey? No matter what we do, it's just no good.

Let's wouldn't be a DEMOCRAT would you? Yes, I thought so.