Thursday, June 08, 2006

It's good news that al-Zarqawi was killed in a US airstrike earlier today.... but not necessarily for the reasons many are citing.

It's always good when someone evil gets squashed. He can no longer kill anyone. He can no longer enjoy his 15 minutes (in this case, 15+ months) of fame. And it restores order in the cosmos, it brings things back into balance. It's important that good gets rewarded and evil punished.

But his death will not necessarily make anything easier for our troops in Iraq. Just as Hussein's capture turned out to be less of a boost than was thought at the time, so too will Zarqawi's death turn out to be a relatively minor footnote in the accounting of this conflict.

For just as Zarqawi filled the void after Hussein's capture, someone (who?) will look to assume Zarqawi's place. There is no shortage of crazies over there who would like nothing better than to become the next Zarqawi. Perhaps, supposing there are more than one contender for the now-open position, things might get even nastier as the rivals try to out-terrorize the others (the same thing was feared in the aftermath of Arafat's death, that the rival factions would step up their campaigns against Israel).

And it's not as if Zarqawi was blessed with unique talents. There doesn't seem to be much to ordering a handful of crazies to strap bombs onto their bodies and go blow themselves up outside police recruiting stations and restaurants. There doesn't seem to be much to ordering the crazies to stop an unarmed and unescorted bus, order the passengers out and then shoot them. Sure, Zarqawi was ruthless and crazy... but is there a shortage of such people in Iraq?

So let's celebrate his death for what it is and what it means... no more, no less.

Hey, it's nice to see that Rick Moran and I don't disagree on everything...