Thursday, June 08, 2006

Zarqawi's Death

I just read some breaking news that Iraqi Prime Minister alMaliki has announced the killing of Zarqawi Wednesday night.

How do I feel about that? Or more importantly, how does my Iraqi family feel about this?
Iraqis have been suffering for decades now, going from war to war to war to sanctions to war (Iraq-Iran War, Kuwaiti invasion, Gulf War '91, sanctions, invasion). They are tired. They want to move on. They are not happy that their country has been invaded, and much less so that the situation has only deteriorated after this invasion in terms of security and peace.

Zarqawi and his operatives added to this mess. Perhaps they meant to fight the occupation, but their fight did not discriminate between Iraqi and non-Iraqi, occupier and occupied. Their roadside bombs, car bombs, mortars, etc killed more Iraqis than they did Americans. Their kidnappings and public beheadings hurt the image of Islam in the West.

I can safely say that most Iraqis are happy, even ecstatic, with this news, but skeptical. Zarqawi was not a lone worker. He had a following, and they can continue their work without him. Iraqis will remain wary in their daily life, and aware that anything can happen. In fact, I would not be surprised if his followers decided to prove a point tomorrow and in the coming days, with some major bombings.

I remember one of the times that had me really angry at these people. During the first Iraqi elections, January 2005, many Iraqis were ready to vote for the first time in their lives for the party they really wanted. But for Sunnis especially, this process became dangerous, as they were warned that they would be targeted and killed if they joined in this process. I remember the morning of the elections, seeing the fear in my neighbors' eyes, as they sized up the situation before risking their lives and walking to the polling centers. I remember them coming home, all happy that they were still alive. I remember them washing their ink-marked fingers with bleach to remove the sign that they had voted. And I remember that many others of my neighbors, especially the women, stayed home from the polling centers, because there was no need to risk death for it. That was one of the many times I was angry at him and his forces.

I remember when the Iraqi Islamic Party decided to join the new Iraqi government, decided that their resistance to the occupation would be a political one, instead of an armed one. I remember Zarqawi coming on television warning Sunnis not to follow this 'misguided party.' I remember that the next day the sister of this party's president was killed in broad daylight (Maisoon Al Hashimi, April 27th, rahimahaAllah).

I do not wish death or punishment on anyone, not even those who hurt me. I only wish them guidance. I think Zarqawi thought he meant well, but he did it in all the wrong ways. May God show us what is right and allow us to follow it.

UPDATE- Some other thoughts:
* Just watched part of the press conference that Maliki held to make the announcement. Evidence of Iraqi happiness: Iraqi reporters starting cheering, ululating and chanting, 'Allahumma salli ala Muhammad wa ali Muhammad.'

* Arabiya channel reported that Iraqis are celebrating with gunfire (unfortunately, normal form of celebration here). Haven't heard anything in my neighborhood, yet.

* The timing of this announcement is a bit suspicious. Came right before announcement of Iraqi Defense and Interior Ministers and during Haditha investigation. Timing seems to be everything in the political order of the day.


Halla said...

I just heard the breaking news about the Zarqawi death and can only be satisfied with that. He brought allot of misery to people and I hope you are wrong and his followers will not retaliate, but who knows, when you are dealing with misguided idiots.

Something had to be done about this Animal (I refuse to call him a man) I still remember the images of the beheading that he did & trying to make it into a religious act and praying over and over the peoples bodies as they are slicing, it was Disgusting!

It is no loss that is being experienced over here, just satisfaction of a job finally done!

I wouldn't even give him the satisfaction of saying for God to rest his soul, because he is not with Allah(god)but Shitan(devil) and is in Jihanam (Hell)!!

Fatima said...

Alot of people share your feelings, Halla.

Fatima said...

Also, I do hope you are right, and my theory of more violence is disproven. Today, the Iraqi government declared a curfew on all cars in Baghdad (until afternoon) and Baqouba to help lessen any possiblity of car bombs, etc.

Andrew Baker said...

It is perhaps the expected outcome of all this that wise counsel along with those forced to see the truth that was there all along, should realise that a settlement can only be reached by a regional approach. Iraq is and never has been a product of isolation.

It is also a double shame/tragedy that the west has broken helpful allegiances/international alliances and arguably the rule of international law by the invasion which would have been indespensible for the slow resolution of the hurt that is the middle east.

As a westerner I can only seek your forgiveness for the sins of the west in shedding the lives of the innocents and will pray that things do get better without our greedy and unwise interventions.

Fatima said...

Andrew: Your words are very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

John1975 said...

Great Blog! I agree with your thoughts on this subject. I've turned down a few contracts inside Iraq because of mess over there.

Of late, though, I've been thinking that turning these jobs down might be a mistake. Who knows, though?

Take care and stay safe!


Fatima said...

Hey John,
I'm sure those contracts would've been very lucrative. But you never know, maybe your hesitancy is saving you. Better safe than sorry!

Observador said...

Great Blog indeed.
We do have an insight on how is life in iraq.

And keep safe.

I love Munich said...

Halla - I can't but 100% agree to what you say! My mother said once "he's so horrid, not even the devil would accept him" ... right she is!
I don't feel too optimistic as to how things will go on! These guys are like a hydra - wherever you eliminate one - nine others pop up! I pray though things will gradually get under control and Iraq will be again for the Iraqi people ONLY, without ANY occupier or so-called "liberator"!

misneach said...

You're right, I've seen so many mixed reactions; the ones that surprise me the most are the people (in Iraq) who are so ecstatic about Zarqawi's death. While a service was done in that he was encouraging sectarian violence (sunni vs. shia), but with continuing US murderous policies there will be plenty more to take his place.

The only hope (in my opinion) to put an end the violence is for perpetrators of heinous crimes like prisoner abuse and massacres of civilians (Haditha is the "tip of the iceberg" in the words of an Asia Times story) to be brought to justice, and for such policies to be erased and apologized for. Only if that happens will people not be so desparate as to follow a murderer like Zarqawi.

Halla said...

Unfortunately, the USA has left this country in a bigger mess than it was in and I don't personally think that his death is going to stop all the violence. Thanks to Mr. Bush there is terrorism in Iraq where it wasn't before, his war on terror is a bust. You can be assured that I did not vote for this clown in the last 2 elections. One of the saddest day in my life was the day after the last election, I was in disbelief.

Bush has put us in a position of no return, damned if we leave or damned if we don't. I don't know what the answer is anymore.

By the way, Haditha is disgraceful. I can understand being upset when one of your own is killed but the soldiers had absolutely no excuse to take it out on innocent people that were not involved. Unfortunately, you look at the ages of the soldiers & almost all of them are in the early 20's and the maturity level is not there, I think of my own children being put in their positions and I don't see it.

Anonymous said...

As an American, we need to stay the course until Iraq is at peach with itself instead of fearing bullies. We had them here, Al Capone, John Gotti...We need to zap them one at a time. I am not sorry for being there. Japan and Germany made it. Iraq is the cradle of man. It deserves a chance.

Fatima said...

Iraq does deserve a chance. But God knows what's going to help it get better now. Many Iraqis want the US out, and others feel that if it leaves now, it'll be the downfall of the country (civil war, etc). As halla put it, 'damned if you do, damned if you don't' situation.