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Friday, May 05, 2006


Double-edged quote of the day

The U.S. military is trying to get maximum publicity for video footage of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi needing help to fix a jam in an automatic rifle. Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch mocked Zarqawi, saying "Makes you wonder" and, in footage I saw on TV but not in any print article, calls him an "amateur." Doesn't it make you wonder why the U.S. military would want to call attention to the alleged military ineptness of someone whom they can't capture and who is doing a pretty good job kicking the butt of the Americans and their Iraqi allies?

And while we're on the subject of Zarqawi, let's return to the Rumsfeld/McGovern contretemps. Rumsfeld claims (not for the first time, obviously) that the presence of Zarqawi in Baghdad during the prewar period was "bulletproof evidence of ties between al Qaeda and Iraq." But Zarqawi is in Iraq now. Does that provide "bulletproof evidence of ties between al Qaeda and the U.S. and its Iraqi puppets"? Rumsfeld also asserts, after McGovern points out that Zarqawi was actually in Kurdistan out of Hussein's control, that he was in Baghdad when he visited a hospital. I wonder if there is actual evidence for that. Remember, this is the same U.S. government which, back when it was talking about Zarqawi in a Baghdad hospital, was also claiming that Zarqawi only had one leg. Is that really grounds for confidence in their assertions?

And finally, just to add something else to the mix, which McGovern didn't have time to say, let's remember that it was only recently that Zarqawi claimed to "affiliate" with al Qaeda and call his group "al Qaeda in Iraq." He may well have qualified as a "terrorist" in March, 2003, but calling him "al Qaeda" is a definite stretch.

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