Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Was Zarqawi Assassinated?

I cannot count how many times I have heard the death of Zarqawi, referred to as an assassination. It comes up in the most casual of settings, but, this is not a valid term that could/should be employed, in this case.

Let's look at this a second, starting with a dictionary definition. Let's take the word, assassinate. Shall we?

It simply means:

To kill somebody, especially a political leader or other public figure, by a sudden violent attack.

Note, there are two prominent words that appear in that definition, political and public. And then be sure to note that Zarqawi wasn't either.

He wasn't political in the sense that he governed anything. He ruled nothing, except a bunch of common street thugs that use fear and intimidation as a weapon, along with the bullets and explosive devices. He was not elected to any office, nor did he overthrow any government.

He wasn't a public figure, either. He existed in the dark underworld of Iraq and did not show his face very often, except on a couple of rare occasions in a video. He was wanted. To be a public figure, one must assume that someone has to be out in the public, on at least a semi-regular basis. The person goes to work, goes shopping, visits places, makes appearances, and so forth. Zarqawi was wanted and stayed hidden most of the time.

If you are still skeptical, think about it a second and ask yourself: Was John Dillinger assassinated? He was on the lam, just like Zarqawi was before his death at the hands of the U.S government. He was wanted for a host of crimes, just like Zarqawi, but we didn't hear the term assassination used in his case, did we?

The point I am trying to make is this: Zarqawi was killed in a military operation. Most victims of assassinations are not armed and openly waging war against the people that surround them. He was a commander of a para-military unit that was actively fighting a war with American and Iraqi forces; and was targeting innocent civilians, when he could not get to those forces. He was a war criminal on the loose and he deserved to die, as such.

To make this out to be an assassination is nothing more than an attempt to cast a dark light on an otherwise impressive military operation, which was successful. And the anti-war left is working every possible angle so they can to do just that, starting right here, with their choice of words that simply do not apply. They cannot stand it when the military has a success, they demonstrate it every time. In this case, they seek to do it by confusing terms. Sadly, some people are buying into it.

But it doesn't work with me. How about you?

Cross-posted at The Wide Awakes


Mustang said...

Now, I've heard that the Democratic Party is scrambling to find a replacement icon in the wake of Zarqawi's death. Based on several speeches I heard today, Kerry and Hillary are in the lead. This must just be an example of disinformation, though.

LASunsett said...

They'll find someone or they will make one up. You can bet on that.

gandalf said...

The danger here is martyrdom, this is, I think why they are placing so much emphasis on the Iraqi betrayal of Zarqawi to stop martyrdom occurring

LASunsett said...

Hi Gandalf,

There is always that risk that killing a high value target like Zarqawi will create a martyr. But, when faced with a choice of an alive threat or a dead martyr, I think the choice is clearly plain.

By stating that one of his own turned him in, it gets into their head, causing all of them look over their shoulder and to sleep with one eye open. And as Martha Stewart says, "That's a good thing".

Anonymous said...

Webster says:

Main Entry: as•sas•si•nate
1 : to injure or destroy unexpectedly and treacherously
2 : to murder by sudden or secret attack usually for impersonal reasons

In the strict definition above, one might conclude that, indeed, Zarqawi was assassinated. The problem here is that definitions, in order to be useful, should be somewhat objective. Any definition of the word 'assassinate' is going to be incomplete because there is so much subjective meaning that we tie to the word.

I believe the word 'assassinate' should be reserved for political leaders who are killed by a subversive element. Under this definition, however, we introduce the problems of defining a 'political leader' and a 'subversive element.' The problem epitomized by the phrase ‘One mans terrorist is another mans freedom fighter.’

One way to cut through all the fog is to understand that, because of the subjective meaning behind the word, it is ALWAYS applied by those who DISAGREE with a killing and choose to label it as an unrighteous and vicious act. While I might say that Kennedy was assassinated (a political leader killed by a subversive element) because I feel it was an unrighteous act, I would not apply it to Zarqawi. The logical conclusion, then, is that those who use that word MUST disagree with the killing of Zarqawi.

I generally find that the words used (and abused) by liberals tend to say more about THEM than really communicating anything useful. That's why I love to hear them talk!

VARepublicMan said...

Sorry. The comment above was by me also. Forgot to sign in first.

LASunsett said...


I think my definition was from the American Heritage Dictionary. Evidently, competing dictionaries cannot even agree on some definitions.

You raise some excellent points, but I still think this was a killing of one military man, by another, in time of war. But, you are right in your implication that the left and the jihadists will view it as an assassination, no matter what evidence is provided them, to the contrary.

VARepublicMan said...

I agree completely. Zarqawi was a self declared jihadist, which is by definition a willing participant in a declared war. An attempt to label it as anything else is simply wrong.