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I will admit it: I am ambivalent about Zarqawi’s death.

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Message Jay Esbe
I will admit it: I am ambivalent about Zarqawi's death.

Oh I know this isn't "politically correct". I also know that it will inevitably be twisted, taken out of context, and ruthlessly used politically by those who've supported the illegal, immoral, and obviously failed occupation of Iraq, in their never ending quest to broad-brush so-called "Liberals" as "Anti-American, and even gleeful at American failures and troop loses. I also know that many on the left will run from this opinion by me just as they've run from so many other truths, unthinkingly preferring polity of any form over the inconvenience and hostility created by unpopular truths.

But never the less, I am ambivalent. On the one hand, obviously Zarqawi was responsible for immense suffering of innocent people, and his death was nothing if not "just" in the sense of the immediate. And his death may well result in a reduction of the horrific violence suffered by innocent people. For that I am immensely grateful. But my ambivalence arises on account of the less than immediate consequences, and within the context of the geopolitical realities of America's criminal foreign policy in the region, and our own future as Americans.

Prefacing this for the moment, I do not believe that the death of Zarqawi does in fact mark a "turning point" in this monumental failure in Iraq. I believe this occupation will continue to fail, and that any one individual is inconsequential to an outcome based on innate outrage at being occupied and robbed. But if it does alter the course in a meaningful way, I have to selfishly ask what the implications are for us as Americans, and unselfishly ask what the consequences are for the rest of the world.

When Iraq "went bad", I was indeed grateful that it did. For had it not, we'd have been confronted with a far worse situation had it succeeded; a criminal administration would have succeeded in it's crime, and surely gone on to even greater affronts to the rule of law and peace. Had the war succeeded, we'd still be living in an intellectually and morally crushing environment where the leadership remained wholly unaccountable to anything other than polls measuring their success at exactly what Adolf Hitler attempted. Yes, it's the tired old Hitler comparison, but I will neither apologize for making it, nor will I fail to defend the apt parallels. While Bush and Cheney have not murdered six million people based on racial purity, had they succeeded in their plan, they may well have murdered a million or more for their religion and theft and control of their resources. And they still may.

Zarqawi's death marks for the moment, a renewed hope for the neo-conservatives that this may all turn out for them in the end. That hope is as lethal to this nation, and the rest of the world, as any hope ever held by a regime bent on world domination and the violent imposition of ideology.

The noise of the dying beast had begun to abate, replaced by whimpering and an understanding that very soon, the crime would be punished by the American people. But like the Nazi's, the grandiosity of the ambition has been matched by tireless optimism renewed by the slightest hope. Zarqawi's death has given hope to a demonstrated enemy of the supposed American values of the rule of law and accountability.

Zarqawi is not my "friend", and I do not grieve for his life. But he was "the enemy of my enemy", and for those who claim to want an America which abides in it's self-proclaimed principles of justice and the rights of self-determination of other peoples in the world, if they cast aside the imposed fear which precludes honesty, they too will find their ambivalence.

In the end, from the time it became apparent that the attack on Iraq was based upon lies and against international law precluding wars of aggression, there were two possibilities and two paths which would result. America needed to suffer the consequences it's suffered for it's actions. Anything which further enables it's outrages, will preclude it's hoped for restoration to collective moral sanity and respectability as a nation among nations.
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Jay Esbe is a writer with a background in cultural anthropology and comparative religion and lives in Seattle Washington.
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