5 thoughts on “Sic Semper Tyrannus”

  1. Dan,

    Ethical or not, I'll be celebrating!

    Smoke'em if you got'em boys and girls!

    See you in Hell, Abu Musab!

    Of course, we all know this is not the end by any stretch of the imagination. Who's next?

  2. Catholicgauze & Sonny,

    I liked Barnett's thoughts on celebration: [1]

    “Tom got an email from a man who 'reveres life'. Hopefully, all civilized people do. This person went on to write that he is offended by the Bush Administration's celebration of the death of Zarqawi. Tom's reply: …

    ' This is warfare against individuals, not states. We self-flagellate over our mistakes committed against individuals–and this is right. So is celebrating our victories over individuals.'”


    Robb's comment [2] is best read for his misunderstanding of grand strategy and his acknowledgement that Zarqawi was not a global guerrilla.

    On confusing nihlism with design:

    “In the early phases of the guerrilla war in Iraq, Zarqawi was operational as the commander of a small cell. His group was able, through early large scale attacks, to set a plausible promise (an idea that many other groups could rally around) for the Iraqi insurgency. Namely, that it was possible to successfully fight the US occupation.”

    On Zarqawi as not a GG

    “His main failure was that he didn't fully appreciate the value of systems disruption. His only attack on a systems target (the Basra terminal) was a failure. He also proved unable to give up operational roles in favor of becoming a strategic communicator (which ultimately led to his death).”

    PS: Blogspirit filters out html tags in general. This is not a setting I can change.

    [1] http://www.thomaspmbarnett.com/weblog/archives2/003340.html
    [2] http://globalguerrillas.typepad.com/globalguerrillas/2006/06/iraq_zarqawi_is.html

  3. Dan, et al,

    Barnett's thoughts are spot on. I don't think some people realize that there is a war in Iraq. A war that is part of a much greater confrontation. And why should they? We in the US armed forces and our families are the only ones that seemed to be affected. The rest of the nation is disconnected to our daily reality of scrutinity while under fire. People die in wars. (Duh!) This time it was AMZ's turn. No sane Soldier, Marine, Airman, or Sailor wants to unnecesarily take another human being's life, but like I said, we are at war and getting shot at on a daily basis. I would be pissed if the President was not happy (and demostrated his emotions) concerning AMZ's death. In terms of the troops, we are quietly celebrating, but there's no time to take our guard down. There's a lot of work left to do.

  4. “Robb's comment [2] is best read for his misunderstanding of grand strategy and his acknowledgement that Zarqawi was not a global guerrilla.”

    I don't see this. One of the background presumptions of the GG thesis is surely “emergence”. That a concerted force can emerge out of disperately motivated actions. This is no more a “confusion of nihilism with design” than is talk of an invisible hand or a Hayekian belief in spontaneous order.

    Robb says that Zarqawi had failures. Including the shift to systems disruption. I don't think that Robb says he “wasn't” a GG. (In fact GG is just a label for a phenomenon; Zarqawi was absolutely part of the expression of that phenomenon in Iraq.)

    It simply says that Z. wasn't very good at one part of it. And that, ultimately, what had been succesful tactics in one phase became counter-productive later on.

  5. Colonel Francona on Zarqawi:


    In my view, Zarqawi always had a counterproductive interest in eliciting maximum bloodshed and gore -i.e. part of his motivation was that of a sociopathic wack job who was collecting ” trophies” of his exploits.

    Zarqawi's operational extremism, for a time, served a purpose because he was broadening the envelope of the permissable and serving to radicalize the tactics of the other insurgent groups but these things have a short window of opportunity before diminishing returns set in.

  6. Mark,

    Interesting pro-Jordan spin on the Zarqawi kill. Reminds me of the post-Gulf War documentaries on how it was really won, with those with access to artillery saying it was because of artillery, those supported by GM praising the hummer, etc.

    What's more interesting about Zarqawi is how he was the dream incarnate of the “carpet-chewing, mentally unbalanced, haters of the Bush administration” [1] He was the emotional release of every radical who wanted bad things to happen, whatever they may be, to prove themselves right about the Bush administration. An interesting study could be done on how similar Zarqawi's motivations themselves were…


    Thus one cannot be a GG, in the way that one could be a 4GWarrior? Does this finally settle that GG is not 4GW or 5GW?


    The most enjoyable comment I read, and one I cannot re-find, said that the killing was criminal, as AMZ was not wearing a uniform at the time, and should have been tried by the law-courts. Some have a very restrictive definition of what a “war” is…

    [1] http://zenpundit.blogspot.com/2006/06/zarqawis-death-few-brief-comments.html

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