Friday, June 09, 2006

The Iraqi And Jordanian Blogospheres On The Death Of Zarqawi


Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi likely was born in Zarka, Jordan circa October 1966, and met his final resting place in Hibhib, Iraq on June 8 2006. Since he graced both nations with his malevolent presence, in this post, we look at the reaction of the Iraqi and Jordanian Bloggers to the death of infamous Zarqawi...


As you would expect, Sam from Hammorabi took the news of Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi's earthly demise with good cheer and cast him and his fellow terrorist travellers on a journey through hell:

Zarqawi without doubts went into the bottom of the Hell with blood of many innocent children, women and men in his dirty hands...Zarqawi and his aides simply went to Hell and this is the worst fate for any one like them.

Sam even outlined the crimes committed by Zarqawi for us: Zarqawi who is Jordanian from Palestinian origin was responsible for thousands of crimes against the Iraqis and the MNF as well as against humanity. He appeared recently in a video challenging the American and Iraqi forces. He beheaded by his dirty hands many Iraqis and foreigners.

Our friend Fay says: Al-Zarqawi is dead. Good riddance. Who's their next leader in Iraq?

Hmm. Interesting comment. Al Qaeda is like the mythological Hydra. You cut one head off and two more appear, but with the top leadership being so decimated in the bombing that wiped out Zarqaqwi and his consorts, it may take a bit of time for
them to regroup in Iraq.

Zan commenting at Fay's wonders if Shia Theocracy will replace Zark's Wahabbist tendencies and notes the perfidy of the Jordanians:

...Honestly, Iraq is full of Zarqawis….one down…Thousands to go….besides, zarqawi’s death might increase the influence of Muqtada.. ..the void of Sunni theocracy is going to be filled by Shiite theocracy. Particularly troubling is the reaction of Jordanians; they liked Zarqawi and some of them said that they liked him until he bombed Amman, which means that had he not bombed Amman, they would have kept condoning him. It seems that Jordanians have no problem having their zarqawi fight westerners, as long as the fighting and all of its mess and human casualties are kept outside Amman. Jordanians have such hate for America and yet few of them wondered what Amman would be without American aid.

Ishta from Iraqi Screen is pretty blase over the passing of Zarqawi:

It seems that the Iraqis learned from the previous events passed by Iraq after 2003 war, not to react directly after hearing any big news even if it is the killing of Zerqawi.

People are more aware now than before that the killing of one person does not mean the end of their countless problems, does not mean, they can go to their work safely, their kids can go to school without the fear of kidnapping, their young sons won't be detained and tortured just because they are Sunni, their sons and daughters won't be shot dead just because they are Sunni or Shiite.

The endless list of problems won't be nullified with the departure of Zerqawi, he was one partner in a big game, and in fact the US administration did not give the Iraqis the chance to breathe, after few hours, it declared that Abu Al-Masri will succeed Zerqawi and warned of more drastic attacks.

Hala S has a very poignant post at Madly In Love With Iraq. At first she is commenting on her mother being forced to wear a head scarf for the first time in her life, an old woman, newly hijabbed, repressed by the scourge of recent extremism in the country, but she leaves that thought incomplete and moves on to the good new of Zarqawi's extinguishment:

...I am happy, very happy indeed.

You all know why. Zarqawi is finished.

Things might not improve or change instantly, but this will definitely have a positive effect on Iraqis. It will bring back a long lost confidence; not in the government but in themselves and the future. The tables are turning at last.

I chose to celebrate with my colleagues at work. They were the ones who've seen my ups and downs. They are the ones whom I spend most of my time with.

I took them over to their favourite pub and bought them drinks.

My line manager threw a very nice speech; it did bring tears to my eyes, something that rarely happens.

It never occurred to me before, but it seems that they all know I am madly in love with Iraq!

The best political analyst in the Iraqi Blogosphere
Nibras Kazimi
calls the Zarqawi termination as "nothing short of a miracle" and "redemptive" for Iraq:

Well, it is nothing short of a miracle. The one thing that could have happened to halt—even if ever so briefly—Iraq’s descent into darkness did indeed happen: Zarqawi was killed. And to sweeten the deal, mysterious forces conspired to keep his face intact even after registering what two 500 lb. bombs can do. Not only that, but Zarqawi lived to see himself surrounded and manhandled by “Crusaders” and Iraqi soldiers.

This happy news came at the worst of times for Iraqis, and I personally have faith in the redemptive power of hope. I think some powerful forces have decided that Iraq will work itself out after all. Bombs will go off, and violence will continue, but the most terrible part of the storm has passed, I believe. I look forward to the future.

Let's let Alaa from the Mesopptamian - hat tip Louise the best essayist in the Iraqi Blogosphere tell us how he feels:

An arch zombie has been blown to smithereens. You know, I am the sort of guy who gets distressed at the sight of blood and cannot bear the sight of even a dead animal, believe it or not. But you know, I was shocked at my own feelings of pleasure on beholding the photo of the dead face of Zarqawi. I would never have thought that possible. I have never felt this way my whole life. Yet the atrocities and outrages that these pseudo humans, these misanthropes, have perpetrated have engendered such anger, such sorrow, such rage that not even the most peaceful of souls can control their hatred of these criminals. My only regret was that the death was fast and sudden, and I felt pain that the true martyr of our country our beloved Ussama Al-Jadaan could not witness this day which he had predicted and played a big role in bringing about.

The Neurotic Iraqi Wife wishes Zarqawi
a fond farewell:

I refuse to watch the news cuz I have OD'd on Zarqawi's death....All I can say is good riddance and hope he and his followers burn in hell...I wander, are all the martyrs that have been murdered on his bloody hands smiling right now through the windows of heaven??? They better be...I also hope that God is beginning to smile on us too...I really hope so...Its a little boost to Iraq's morale, and I pray many operations like this will take place so we can have an Iraq thats free from low life roaches that feed on Innocent blood....

Riverbend is babbling like a brook about Zarkawi:

How do I feel? To hell with Zarqawi (or Zayrkawi as Bush calls him). He was an American creation- he came along with them- they don't need him anymore, apparently. His influence was greatly exaggerated but he was the justification for every single family they killed through military strikes and troops. It was WMD at first, then it was Saddam, then it was Zarqawi. Who will it be now? Who will be the new excuse for killing and detaining Iraqis? Or is it that an excuse is no longer needed- they have freedom to do what they want. The slaughter in Haditha months ago proved that. "They don't need him anymore," our elderly neighbor waved the news away like he was shooing flies, "They have fifty Zarqawis in government."

Zeyad blogging at The Guardian - Hat Tip Outlaw Mike provides a multilayered look at the multifaceted symbol he calls Zarqawi.


Omar, besides providing a look at the town of Hibhib, where Zarqawi was eliminated, gives some information on two of Zarqawi's cohorts that
expired with him:

Al-Maliki said that among the 7 killed with Zarqawi were two women who were responsible for collecting intelligence for the al-Qaeda HQ cell.

Omar also did a Pajama Media Audio Interview - Hat Tip CMAR on Zarqawi.

For the first time in a very long while, Baghdad Treasure seems to have broken out of
his doldrums and is genuinely happy about an event
in Iraq:

Today is a great day in Iraq. The most brutal criminal and terrorist in Iraq is killed. It's
been a long time since we haven't heard good news...I have to say that I haven't been happy like this for a long time. When I met my other colleagues back in the office, I waved the victory sign, which I also haven't done since a long time ago.

I mean, he's even very happy: "Are you happy?" an American colleague of mine asked me. "I am very happy," I replied.

B, sees this as the first step of a long road, but the journey has to start sometime: I know that attacks will increase. I know more people are going to die. I know mistakes are going to be continued.
I know everything will not be fixed soon like in the fairy tales. But I am happy that this man is killed. I believe his death is the real first step: the thousand-miles road starts with one step.

I'm glad for B, he's been so down over the last months, a man who seemed to have given up on any hope of a bright future in his native land. Where's there's hope now, there's a chance.

Iraqi Pundit relates the story of a well-to-do man from Baghdad, who was asked, with all the dangers he faced, why was he remaining in Iraq? The man's response was, "Eventually, it will improve. It has to." And as Iraqi Pundit notes,
Iraq: ...improved today. Zarqawi is dead, Iraqi women are ululating in the shy, face-covering manner of my country, and Iraqi men are boisterously firing celebratory shots in the air.

Zappy over at The City Called Hell
summarises the sudden exit of Zarqawi succintly:

The BASTARD is DEAD!!!!!!

Prime Minister Announces the Death of Zarqawi!!!
999 left to go, at least its a begining, i have never been more happier than when they caught the Rat in the hole!

Eye Raki, an Expatriate Iraqi in London says good riddance to Zarqawi and describes the celebratory behavior in Iraq:

It still hasnt sunk in, this is probably one of the best days in Iraq's history after the capture of Saddam Hussain... Ahmad Fadhil al-Khalayleh aka Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi, has finally been sent to hell.

The only down side to his death is that it was too quick...It should have been a slow painful death.

Eye Raki has photos of the celebrating going on in his hometown of Najaf, and notes Iraqi women are doing the halhoola, and ulululating a plenty.

While Truth About Iraqis is hellbent on the alleged Haditha Massacre, he has a lot of information about Zarqawi's demise -- not all of it accurate -- and speculates on the effects it will have on further terrorist intrusions in to the country:

Foreign terrorism in Iraq - or at least a
part of it - can now be buried. I doubt other Arab infilitrators seeking to divide Shia and Sunni brothers will remain.

Hunted down and killed or will flee.

Last week, Zarqawi released a tape condemning the Shia of Iraq. Four hours of regurgitated self-righteous crap.

Al Tarrar at Baghdad Connect either calling it quits or happy that Zaqawi has called
it quits, posts a Bug Bunny Warner Brothers' poster with the Wascally Wabbit's favorite meme: That's All Folks!. It certainly wasn't all that good for Zarqawi.

New Iraqi Female blogger Thought Riot at the appropriately named Thought Riot seems
non-plussed. She, like Ladybird, didn't believe Zarqawi existed:

For some reason, I never believed he existed,
I have seen a couple photographs and all of that, but in the other hand, nothing is easier for a government than to frame some people. And to all governments he's been an ideal scapegoat when it comes to justifying failures.

She sees his recently announced non-existent mortality, a boon for both the Iraqi and American governments:

The first thing that occured to me at hearing the news was "A much needed victory, huh?". It is indeed a much needed victory for a Prime Minister who's status wasn't as he would have liked it to be. Also a much more needed victory for the Coalition Forces that haven't been achieving much since capturing Saddam Hussein...

Hell, she's even quoting Hitler:

"Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it" Adolf Hitler.

Fatima at Thoughts From Baghdad, who was born and raised in the U.S. before moving back to Baghdad, says most Iraqis are joyous but wary with death of Zarqawi:

I can safely say that most Iraqis are happy, even ecstatic, with this news, but skeptical. Zarqawi was not a lone worker. He had a following, and they can continue their work without him. Iraqis will remain wary in their daily life, and aware that anything can happen. In fact, I would not be surprised if his followers decided to prove a point tomorrow and in the coming days, with some major bombings.

Fatima is angry with Zarqawi for targeting Iraqis -- doesn't sound she would be too angry if he was just targeting her fellow Americans -- and making Islam look bad:

Zarqawi and his operatives added to this mess. Perhaps they meant to fight the occupation, but their fight did not discriminate between Iraqi and non-Iraqi, occupier and occupied. Their roadside bombs, car bombs, mortars, etc killed more Iraqis than they did Americans. Their kidnappings and public beheadings hurt the image of Islam in the West

Then Fatima takes a major league leap in to the Arab Parallel Universe:

I think Zarqawi thought he meant well, but he did it in all the wrong ways.

Yeah, I guess he took a wrong turn at the first beheading or so... This woman grew up in the United States folks. What can you say.

Well, speaking of a wrong turn, Ladybird is in Beiruit, enagaged in a journalistic
enterprise with a TV crew, and she interviewed thirty respondents about the Zarqawi affair, and surprisingly -- well not surprisingly, this is Ladybird after all, and where was she, in the Hezbollah District? -- only three had a pro-Occupation (as Ladybird calls it) viewpoint.
The rest, right straight at you from the A.P.U.:

The whole day I was with TV team covering the news of the death of Zarqawi, by asking people's opinions.
The orders came from above that the opinions must be "pro-occupation" (speaking about the freedom of speech).

We just asked pedestrians on the streets, from 30 opinions of different fraction of the Lebanese society only three opinions were pro-occupation"
and the rest were something like this:

"They are the Americans who create Zarqawi, and
now they don't need this myth anymore". "As long as the occupation exists then there will be many other Zarqawis".

Best opinion I heard today was: "The Americans announce the death of Zarqawi because they wanted
to show support for Iraq's new government, but Zarqawism is not dead they left the option open to use another name or names".


Jordanian blogger Eman from Aqua Cool ponders the effects of the death of Zarqawi for the Iraqi people:

The question remains, will this really result in witnessing less terrorism? Or will it fuel more acts of terrorism in Iraq? Will there be a new “Zarqawi”?
One can’t but wait and pray this will mean less suffering for our dear innocent Iraqi brothers and sisters, because apparently, they’re the only ones paying the price for this whole war.

And they didn't pay a price before the war? Ask the Kurds Eman, about paying a price.
Haitham Sabbah of Sabbah's blog has mixed feelings about Zarqawi's expiration date being reached: One pig down...In my opinion, it means NOTHING! Yes, his killing is worth mentioning, but how many Zarqawi is still alive? Now we are celebrating his death (hopefully his family in Jordan won’t mourn him), but Iraq is still occupied.

Well, Iraq is no longer occupied by Zarqawi.

Oleander from Oleander nails Al jazeera for their double standard:

No news about Al Qaueda or Zarqawi would be complete without a mention of a Al Jazeera, I was surprised to not find a picture of Zarqawi's body on Al Jazeera's website, although they are notorious for their lack of censorship. While writing this post the picture was shown but under an article about how publishing the picture is an American violation to the Geneva Convention, ah give me a freaking break!

The famous Natasha of Mental Mayhem takes on the skeptics who thought Zarqawi was a US creation:

So Zarqawi is dead. Good riddance. To all the skeptics out there, it seems that Zarqawi wasn't a "US invention" or a "creation by Jordanian intelligence" after all! What will the conspiracy theorists say now? "We need proof!" "We want to see the corpse." [There's now pictorial evidence] Frankly, I would have preferred seeing him captured and then put to justice so that everyone could see how sinister this man was and that he really existed, inflicting terror upon millions and millions of people.

Hareega of Hareega, has a humorous post about Ten Reasons why Zarqawi cannot watch the World Cup. And Number 10 is

Good reason: he's D-E-A-D.

Can the Onion be far behind for Hareega?

Amino of Chronicles of a Utopian Writer believes we need to fight terrorism through peace and solving the problme of disenfranchised impoverished youth. Those are Utopian Ideals after all, but one could argue that there's appears to be little correlation between wealth and terrorism. You do not see many poor Christian, Buddhist, or Hindu terrorists now do we?

Black Iris yearned for more of a Jordanian sense of justice in the disposal of Zarqawi:

As a terrorist who attacked our country and caused massive damage to our neighbours to the east I personally feel that a US air strike was not the
way I wanted him to go. I really wanted to see the guy captured and brought to Amman and executed. If anything, it would’ve brought about a greater sense of justice. And I think that’s what I feel is missing from this guy’s death today…a sense of justice.

Jad's Thoughts celebrates with fireworks over Zarqawi's disposal.

Fadi Hadad of Fatshino sees what he calls the Z-ideology remaining while the man is gone:

Zarqawi was not just an individual..he was a by-product of many Zarqawis and a producer of even Zarqawier Zarqawis.. The problem is that he was one..they are many.. He was identified..but they
are anonymous.. many of them might not have beards and they might not be living in Iraq or Afaghanistan but they are definitely somewhere, intoxocating other people with the same rotten dogmas. those are the ones of whom we should be aware.

Issam from Shiffaa sees Zarqawi's passing as being bad news for the Iraqis, as a new leader could emerge, who might concentrate his actions solely on Iraq:

The death of Zarqawi is bad news to the Iraqis. A new jihadist leader will surely succeed Al Zarqawi. Most probably, he will be an Iraqi, making him better able to unite together the causes of of jihadism and nationalism. And unlike Zarqawi, who also actively plotted attacks outside Iraq particularly into the Jordanian territories, a new leader may focus his struggle on targets within Iraq. All these scenarios might develop to potential nightmares for Iraqis longing to have a peaceful life. On the other hand, and even as someone might think that his death will disturb Al Qaida's operations in Iraq, one might argue that his impact might well be minimal. Unfortunately, the Iraqi insurgency proved itself to be highly decentralized. And so the loss of any individual leader might mean nothing to fanatic members ready to strike with or without their commander's knowledge or approval.

Zarqawi's death won't see the end of terrorism in Iraq or around the world, but it is a fresh start in the right direction...

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