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You remember that little scene from the Wizard of Of when the curtain is finally pulled back on the Wizard?

That's what Zarqawi's death reminds me of today.  I believe that Zarqawi's death will actually turn out to be final nail in the coffin of public support for Bush's War in Iraq.

Oh, don't get me wrong: Bush will get an initial bounce.  And, I suppose, the military and intelligence operation should be highly commended (though I doubt Bush should get credit, though he will): Zarqawi was a murderous asshole who needed killing.  And, by all accounts, the operation to get him was carried out with diligence, patience, competence and aplomb.  Iraq, further, will without a doubt be better off for the scumbag's elimination from this earth.

But in the end, Bush will be hurt by this more than he will be helped.

The reason?  Because Bush's base that still supports this war does so largely out of ignorance.  The base that still supports this war, largely, does so because they believe Bush's lies that:

1) All the problems in Iraq are mostly the result of foreign fighters and terrorists causing trouble;

2) That there are a limited number of foreign fighters and terrorists in Iraq--and that if we just kill enough of them, there will be peace; and

3) That Abu-Musab Al-Zarqawi was the ringleader of these Al-Qaeda foreign fighters.

I have right-wing gaming buddies who have been saying these things for a good long while now--I guarantee you that this is the mindset held by most of those who still support the debacle that is the War in Iraq now.


Well, guess what?  The Wicked Witch is Dead.  The Wizard is unmasked.

Al-Zarqawi the ringleader is dead.  Checkmate--the King is Dead.  Al-Qaeda in Iraq decapitated.  PROGRESS.


But still and yet, in the reality-based community, the violence in Iraq continues unabated.  Still and yet, the real reasons for the violence--centuries-old sectarian divisions, poverty, hopelessness, hatred of the American occupation, corruption, and so much else--continue unaddressed, and even exacerbated by Bush.

Still and yet, the bad news will keep streaming in.

And those ignorant supporters will be forced to come to terms with the reality that killing Al-Zarqawi--while good in and of itself--solved nothing in Iraq.  They will be forced to at least reconsider whether they were misled by their President.

Support for the War In Iraq will fall.

And by extension, so will support for Bush--because as Iraq goes, so goes Bush.


So enjoy your bounce, Georgie of Oz.  The fall comes shortly thereafter.

Originally posted to thereisnospoon (David Atkins) on Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 12:21 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Aww, they don't pay attention for more than a day (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TexDem, ourprez08, Krum, phriendlyjaime

    Next time Bush needs another boost from "The War on Terra," he'll just announce he's been killed again.

    I forget how many times he was "captured."  

  •  The White House has already started the CYA (6+ / 0-)

    on this topic.  I've seen lower-thirds all day that say things like "New Terror Threats".

    They are being way more realistic than I've ever seen them in one of these situations.  Still I hope you end up calling this one correctly.  Because Zarqawi's death is anything but a big advance for the long-term problems that will dog Iraq.

  •  It's not the initial bounce bush gets that (9+ / 0-)

    bothers's watching talking heads like Tweety ejaculating all over the news for the next four or five days about how we've made great progress by killing one just makes me sick watching the sycophants we have in our MSM getting off on this and ignoring the realities on the ground.  

    The newness of Zarqawi's death will wear off eventually, and the hangover will be a bitch.  We've still got 150,000 troops (counting our 'contractors'/mercenaries) in Iraq and their lives are no less at risk due to the demise of this one evil-doer.

    I pray the public will see this for what it is...a victory over one person.  We haven't defeated Al Qaeda...we don't even know what their hierarchy is or if they even have one.  There are plenty of Zarqawis out there to fill his shoes, and given the fact that he couldn't operate an automatic rifle, I don't think we've made that much progress with this killing.

    Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

    by darthstar on Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 12:20:00 PM PDT

    •  that's what bothers me too (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      zarqawi was heavily hyped.  he's been on the decline since reaching his heyday in 2004.  but that won't stop tweety from gushing all over bush tonight.

      •  From heavily hyped to 'not that critical' (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        thereisnospoon, phriendlyjaime

        in one day...

        So, who gets the $25million for pointing him out?  I want to know where my tax dollars went.

        Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

        by darthstar on Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 12:33:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You watch Tweety? (0+ / 0-)

          I could not stand to watch that insufferable blow hard.  Just assign one volunteer to monitor Faux News so that everyone else is spared.  It's important to monitor the enemy, but the work can be shared so that everyone is not sickened by the idiot Tweety and his fellow Bushie sycophants.

      •  and the bombs will explode tomorrow and that (0+ / 0-)

        will be the end of that. there are soooo many wannabees waiting in line for that job who might actually be "worse". think about that! the bushies sure don't.

    •  Tweety (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      has already "given him credit", for what, someone of his creation? If Georgie had not gone in, Zarqawi would not have been known to the world.

      -4.00 -5.44 "A man who chooses not to read, is just as ignorant as the man who cannot read."

      by TexDem on Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 12:47:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  lovely thought (0+ / 0-)

      ejaculating all over the news for the next four or five days

    •  Exactly. As if there's a finite number to kill. (0+ / 0-)

      Terrorism isn't about numbers of extremists willing to take action for their cause; it's about the cause itself.  Killing one person or 100 or 10,000 isn't going to stop what's causing people to be drawn to the cause.  In fact, killing off the charismatic leaders may create myriad causelets that are harder to monitor and control.

      As for whether this will give Bush a bounce, it will.  His supporters are not all accidentally ignorant; many have taken up the stance of volitional ignorance.  

      Chances are there will be several more key "turning points" in the months advancing to the elections this fall.  And many of them, like the "drones of death" and the "bio-trailers of terror," will be fabrications and hyperbole.  

      Don't let your insecurities disguise what's extraordinary about you.

      by MsSpentyouth on Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 02:07:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  it will also hurt the credibility of the media (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stodghie, thereisnospoon

    for touting this as another corner turned.  not that they haven't lost their credibility already

  •  ah, optimism (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deadicated Marxist
    It's hard to be optimistic these days, especially in the days after the CA-50 voters went for a right-wing professional LIAR and Marcy Winograd couldn't take out Jane Harmon.

    But I like to be optimistic.  It's the reason I'm a Democrat after all.

    The illegal we do immediately. The unconstitutional takes a little longer -- Henry Kissinger

    by theyrereal on Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 12:21:35 PM PDT

  •  Perhaps... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It will definately make people wonder why we are still in Iraq.

    My conservative friends first reaction was "Good, now why can't they get OBL"

  •  It's not Tweety we should be concerned with (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mwh1956, darthstar

    nobody watches those shows. The ratings are quite poor.

    It's the hundreds of right wing radio outlets that will spin it.

  •  :::beating chest uselessly:::: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nooo! The wizard will take care of it all!! That's why we have a wizard!!
    Seriously, yea, I'm feeling that way too.

    A vote for GOP is a vote for WW3

    by RElland on Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 12:28:14 PM PDT

  •  Who Is Abu-Musab Al-Zarqawi? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    high5, hazzcon, Krum

    Everyone seems to know who this man is, but me.  

    I've never met him or heard about him until it was politically advantageous for Iraq to have a new bad guy, after Saddam was out of course.  

    His death--if it really happened yesterday--will only give Bu$hco and, hence the MSM, an opportunity to re-name a terrorist threat, or a new leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq.  

    Get ready for (drum roll please)....."???"

    •  He is the guy that Bush could have taken out (0+ / 0-)

      several times before we invaded Iraq, but chose not to so he could claim that al Qeada was in Iraq, even though it was in an area under Kurdish control (with US air cover) and not under Saddam's control.

      He is also the guy that was responsible for numerous killings after we invaded. He was Bush's where's Waldo of Iraq and apparently had super-powers, who could somehow magically grow his leg back for a video supposedly of him, executing kidnap victim Nicholas Berg.


      Mitch Gore

      Bush's pre-1776 mentality is hurting America - Russ Feingold

      by Lestatdelc on Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 01:58:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Iraqis hate foreign fighters. (5+ / 0-)

    A number of experts including General William Odom and  General Robert Scales, former head of the Army War College, have pointed out that native Iraqis HATE foreign fighters and only let them stay as a matter of convenience to fight Americans.

    That said, the native insurgency was never managed by Zarqawi and will continue, unabated.

    That is why I have repeatedly argued that we should not play along with the Rovian rhetoric of Iraq becoming a "training ground for al Qaeda" or a "haven for terrorists."  It is not true, and we only support Bush's rhetoric that "Iraq is the central front on the global war on terror" when we repeat that nonsense.

    First of all, the number of foreign fighters in Iraq has always been infinitesimal, by the military's own intelligence analysis.

    And, second, as Odom has pointed out, what would likely happen after our derparture is native Iraqi insurgent groups would drive the remaining foreign jihadists out of Iraq.

    The Iraqis will allow no foreign influences to exist (axcept for reasons of convenience) and Zarqawri's death proves that.

    Visit Satiric Mutt -- my contribution to the written cholesterol now clogging the arteries of the Internet.

    by Bob Johnson on Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 12:33:00 PM PDT

    •  Generals and my Major Cousin (0+ / 0-)

      have said that 1% of insurgents are foreigners.  

      But even those 1% are Sunni Arabs, and there is some kinship there.

      Democrats are the party of those who are working, those who have finished working, and those who want to work. -- Elizabeth Edwards

      by philgoblue on Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 01:46:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Maybe it will help more than you think (0+ / 0-)

    Chris Allbritton at Back to Iraq thinks it may be a real step in the right direction.

    This is a big, big success for the Iraqis and the Americans. Zarqawi wasn’t the sole force behind the insurgency, but he was the driving personality behind the jihad aspect of the Sunni fighting, which has much larger influence within the Iraqi insurgency than the size of its roster would suggest. It was his connections that brought in a lot of money from the Gulf, and with that cash and influence was able to bleed off some of the Ba’athists and Iraqi Islamists to his part of the insurgency.

    He thinks it may that the inclusion of the Sunnis in the unity government is paying dividends in that it was local tips that led to the location.

    So now we’ll have to wait and see what happens in the coming days and weeks. There will no doubt be a flare of violence thaht could last up to a week or so, but after that, If the level of violence starts to decrease, then that means the Sunnis are playing ball. Now it is time for the Shi’ites to curb their militias; that’s the deal. If that doesn’t happen, expect the Sunnis to let their fighters loose again.

    We'll just have to see.  Maybe we can start seeing progress in Iraq.

    Stop the bullshit.

    by wetzel on Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 12:34:01 PM PDT

    •  Another six months (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mason6883, darthstar

      The next six months will be critical in the future of Iraq.


      •  That's what they said about the last six months (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dumbya, stodghie, phriendlyjaime

        and the six months before that...
        and the six months before that...
        and the six months before that...
        and the six months before that...
        and the six months before that...
        and the eight weeks after we took Baghdad.

        deja vu all over again

        Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

        by darthstar on Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 12:45:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I am trying (0+ / 0-)

        I am trying to stay open to the possibility that somehow things might improve in Iraq.

        I know nothing has happened in the past few years to indicate to me that this is a possibility.

        But there are good people who are actively involved in trying to find a way to solve the crisis.

        Just because Bush is the worst President in American history doesn't mean I need to be churlishly convinced that absolutely everything has to be hell-bound all the time.

        Stop the bullshit.

        by wetzel on Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 12:56:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  to be blunt, if you really believe that having (0+ / 0-)

          this one legged man killed will make a difference in iraq, than i would have to politely disagree. i think being honest with ourselves and about the situation is far better than holding out hope in a hopeless situation.

      •  Another six months... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        stodghie, phriendlyjaime
        I think we've heard that line before:

        I think they're in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency.

        Dick "Dick"Cheney 20 June 2005

        Sure thing...we got him this time, just like the previous three times...we got him!  The man, Zarqwai, is worth more as a resurrected hobgoblin than as a martyr. How long until a retraction surfaces?  

        Just another poorly written scene in the B-movie: BushCo™.

        If we would just take the profit out of war, there wouldn't be any. Woody Guthrie

        by town on Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 12:59:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  NPR interviewed Anthony Cortesman ... (0+ / 0-)

      ... this morning on Morning Edition.

      He spoke with more knowledge, and nuance, and intellegence than anyone I've heard in a while.  Worth a listen (or a read):

      I think it's important to understand that this is a largely a political and a propaganda success unless Zarqawi's death is accompanied by the discovery of some record of the cell structure and organization of al-Qaida. It's also important to understand what al-Qaida really is in Iraq; it's one of three major Islamist extremist groups in the insurgency.

      Some 17 to 20 other groups have identifies themselves and there are many smaller, lower-level elements inside the insurgency. (Emphasis added.)

      From NPR.

      I think this will make Americans more knowledgeable, and that's a good thing.  The more Americans know about what is going on, the sooner they will stop spending BILLIONS of tax dollars blowing up (or defending) Iraq.

      I think the American story of Bush's Iraq War is going to shift from one of a cult-of-personality (Bush, Bin Laden, Hussein, Zarqawi) to one much more reflective of the history, tensions, and arms of the people in Iraq.  Anything that makes the war less a fantasy and more a hellish reality is a blow to the greatest of blow-hards, that fiction-meister extraordinaire, George W. Bush.

      YEARLY.KOS - Rebirth of a nation! Make the most of it!

      by Yellow Canary on Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 01:02:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Denial is more than a river in Egypt (0+ / 0-)

    The Republicans are only now gearing up for the election. Their themes will be:

    We are turning the corner in Iraq.

    We will save you from the illegal immigrants.

    We are protecting marriage.

    To the extent that we ignore these issues, or whistle in the dark and think that they don't matter, we will lose.

  •  Meet the new threat (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MD patriot, turnover

    Same as the old threat. Their will never be a collision with reality for the Bush base. Their will always be some new bogeyman that will rise from the ashes like a phoenix and be the next great threat to the American way of life in Iraq. Otherwise, they might start having to examine their own support of the war. They will NEVER do that. It's always easier to blame someone else.

    Do Pavlov's dogs chase Schroedinger's cat?

    by corwin on Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 12:49:02 PM PDT

  •  Every so-called turning point (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    has turned out to be insignificant, from the time the CPA turned over the reins to the Iraqis up to and including Zarqawi's death. I used to work at a company that eventually went bankrupt and everyone knew what the situation was and how things were only going to worsen. However, the company president kept giving these "we've turned the corner speeches" whenever we had a bit of good news. The employees were ready to strangle him after hearing this so many times and having seen no lasting improvement in our position. I suppose he felt that he had to act as cheerleader, but most of the employees felt that he should have assessed the situation and dealt with it realistically. Encouragement is one thing, but it requires a plan to actually accomplish anything. And we had no plan.

    I don't know what it will take to resolve the Iraqi problem, but it will require cooperation among the various factions, commitment from the Iraqis, and a strong leader who will inspire the Iraqis to unite behind him or her. We are not going to precipitate that situation or keep Iraq from falling into complete chaos if that doesn't happen. It should be obvious by now that we are having little effect in stabilizing Iraq and that the Iraqis themselves don't really know how to deal with the situation either. The death of Zarqawi, while good news in and of itself, is not the history changing event that is going to save Iraq. I wish it were, but I'm afraid that the only thing that will turn things around is a plan that the Iraqis are committed to implement.

  •  They Do It So Well (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    They set themselves up for failure so well every time. For three years these idiots of Bu$hco have been telling their red meat, red state base that Zarqawi was the man he is the Osama of Iraq and if we get him it will be huge.

    Well they got him just like the got Saddam and look where we are now. Zarqawi is a non issue in the grand scheme of this war, just another murderous nut that should have been killed years ago. Now they are stuck trying to explain to their base why things are not getting better with Zarqawi dead.

    These guys spend so much time lying that they don't know when to stop. Reality has caught-up with these people and its only going to get worst. They told their base a story about this war that does not fit the realities on the ground and as one lie after another fades away so does their base.

    I live in reality and I know even the capture and/or death of Osama bin Laden is not going to change the realities of the mess these idiots have created in the Middle East. It is time that they all realize that we will be living with the consequences of Bu$hco's actions for sometime to come.

    They have set into motion seismic geopolitical shifts of power that are only beginning to manifest themselves. From emerging Russian-Chinese alliances to South America's growing power block and the growing serge of elected and unelected fundamentalist Islamic governments replacing the dictatorships that have ruled the Middle East for the majority of the 20th century, we are seeing a world in flux.

    Neocons in their stupidity and arrogance have guaranteed that there will never be an American Century.

    •  my question is who will bush's boogieman be now (0+ / 0-)

      in iraq? who will he blame for the uprising? he played that card. and i for one don't believe that man was killed with a 500 pound bomb. no way!

      •  Remember One Thing (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        There are several of Saddams top guys that were never captured. I will not be surprised to see one of them start to pop-up as the new head of the insurgency in Iraq. The MSM will eat the stuff up as usual without ever asking any questions.

        Like I said the idiots just don't get it. Reality has already set in their situation is only going to get worst. The insurgency will never end in Iraq until we leave. What fightens me the most is that the longer we stay the greater the chance this will spill into the other Arab countries and become a regional conflict. The leaders in that part of the world know this and the are frighten too.

        They have not even begun to see the consequences of their actions, what we have seem so far is only the beginning these people will never stop fighting the U.S. if it does not leave the area. It will get to a point if this continues the Chineses and Russians will start to take sides in the Middle East to push back on the U.S. I can see Russia providing Iran support if the U.S. attacks in the form of intelligence and equipment. They don't have to win but just make the situation as bloody for the U.S. as possible.

        Lets not forget that's what we did to them in the 80s in Afghanistan.

  •  US Celebrating Zarqawi Death A Grave Mistake. (3+ / 0-)

    The #2 man in al-Qaida, Ayman al-Zawahri, chastised al-Zarqawi last September for attacking Shiites. Zarqawi was not taking orders from Al Qaeda and today he paid the price. Al Qaeda has everything to gain from Zarqawi's death. The man that split the resistance movement into opposing factions is gone and the insurgency can now refocus on their target. While there may be good reason to celebrate the death of a ruthless man that has killed so many innocents, coalition forces and Iraqi civilians are not out of the woods.

  •  Is this not the same guy they 'killed' (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    three times already?  What about all those troops who went into Tora Bora and found no underground bunkers full of international Al-CIA-Duh communications equipment.  A global network of terrorists you say?  Really, I highly doubt it.
    Parts 1,2 and 3 of this.
    Highly recommended, the cure for bullshit.

  •  Wrongo... (0+ / 0-)

    ..this crowd falls for the propaganda every single time. You can sell government contracts for french armoires and a big house in Rancho Santa Fe and think you are about to lose the congressinal seat and then the thugs yell "Criminals are coming across your border!!" and they all turn and look in that direction.

    If Abu Grhaib, contracts-for-Armoires, dead people floating in the streets of New Orleans weeks after the hurricane, gas prices, and the raid on the treasury don't shake the Bushbots out of their torpor than absolutely nothing will.

    I want you to start getting used to the idea that nothing, absolutely nothing will help and that this democracy is officially dead.

    "I am my brother's keeper. I am a Democrat." -- That's your slogan, Democrats.

    by Bensdad on Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 01:18:51 PM PDT

  •  Actually (0+ / 0-)

    Zaqawi's death is more than likely making Bin Laden and the Al Qaeda leadership up in the caves of Nortwest Pakistan very happy.

    While they are up there talking and making videos and tapes, Zaqawi was actually DOING stuff. That made him a serious threat for the entire leadership of the international Islamic terrorism.

    Sort of like how Castro must have felt when Che Geuvara decided to go to Bolivia

  •  He won't even get a bounce. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Zarkawi has been AT LARGE for how many years? If they'd caught him last year, it might have made a difference. And where's Osama Bin Laden? It's like the Terra Alert color code. People are burnt out, and also, they know 6 or 7 US troops will have been killed by IEDs by this time next week, just as though Zarkawi never bought the farm.

    •  Caught him last year? (0+ / 0-)

      Go back further.

      Bush could have taken him out several times before we invaded Iraq, but chose not to so he could claim that al Qeada was in Iraq, even though it was in an area under Kurdish control (with US air cover) and not under Saddam's control.


      Mitch Gore

      Bush's pre-1776 mentality is hurting America - Russ Feingold

      by Lestatdelc on Thu Jun 08, 2006 at 02:04:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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