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Bully Is Killed

Natalia J. Garland

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Another bully has been extracted from his hiding place. Abu Murab Al-Zarqawi, like Saddam Hussein's sons, Qusay and Uday, is dead and can no longer wreak havoc on earth. He was killed by the American military on June 8, 2006, in Baquba. Al-Zarqawi was known as the Prince of Al Qaeda. Recently, in a tape released by Al-Zawahiri apparently before Al-Zarqawi's death, Al-Zawahiri referred to him as the Lion of Jihad. The American government regarded Al-Zarqawi as the primary terrorist in Iraq and in the world. With the above deaths, and with the capture and imprisonment of Saddam, the major Al Qaeda terrorists are Bin Laden and his advisor, Ayman Al-Zawahiri. Of course, Al-Zarqawi will be replaced, but his removal is a victory in the war on terror.

Remember Nicholas Berg? Al-Zarqawi was responsible for Berg's beheading and for others. He was also responsible for bombing the train in Madrid, bombing the wedding party at a hotel in Jordan, and bombing the Golden Mosque in Samarra. He was a charismatic recruiter who would also resort to intimidation and threats in order to obtain followers. For example, he would threaten to kill family members if a young man refused to join Jihad. He also formed an online magazine to organize and to give an attractive image to Al Qaeda. He has been described as clever, ruthless, and bloodthirsty. He wanted to instigate civil war in Iraq, but his brutality to other Muslims ultimately turned some against his leadership.

Iraqis have seen the photo of the deceased mass-murderer. For the Al Qaeda sympathizers, perhaps that lifeless face will remind them that Jihad will fail, that the Americans will keep fighting, and that there is a real possibility that Iraq can achieve a stable and effective government. The removal of Al-Zarqawi was an extremely necessary step toward the day when the Iraqis can police and defend their country, and American soldiers can come home.

We Americans can be proud of our military men and women. The military showed bravery, positive will, and loyalty. Let us show our gratitude by living according to the democratic ideals and values which they protect. There will be violent days ahead, and America has divisive internal troubles right now, but we need to unite our hearts and minds to secure Iraq and win the war on terror.

Many people agree that the war in Iraq must be won, regardless of their opinions on the American government's reasons for going to war. Those reasons have already become the domain of tomorrow's historians. The fact is that we are deeply invested in a war of terrorism versus democracy. If America cannot someday truly announce "mission accomplished" in Iraq, then the civilized order of the entire world could be grossly changed. Whether or not the critics like to hear it, America is the greatest teacher of open societies.

[NOTE: This essay is a compilation of facts and opinions as heard on various television news programs.] (Written 06/12/06)

Until we meet again..............stay sane.

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Copyright 2006 Natalia J. Garland