Friday, June 09, 2006

The real effect of the Al-Zarqawi news

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi--the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, the architect of the "Golden Mosque" bombing, the man who personally beheaded innocent civilians in front of web-cams and video cameras--is dead. We can't yet know if it is a "major" victory--only history will be able to tell that--but it is a significant victory.
There will be someone in al Qaeda to take over the leadership of the terrorist group, but, whoever that is will likely not have the experience, charisma, and leadership qualities of al-Zarqawi, and that group, at least momentarily, will not be as effective as it has been in the past.
A significant aspect of the operation which killed al-Zarqawi is the participation of Iraqi citizens who have grown weary of al Qaeda in Iraq and al-Zarqawi's practice of pitting Iraqi citizens against each other, as well as the operations by the terrorist gang to undermine the economy of Iraq by sabotaging oil production facilities and pipelines. This signifies the growing trend of Iraqis to support their new, democratic government, rather than to join the insurgency. If, as expected Abu al-Masri, an Egyptian, takes over leadership of the organization, this will not bring any love by Iraqis toward al Qaeda.
The mission of al Qaeda in Iraq is to seize control of the country, which is why it fomented violence between Sunni and Shia, sabotaged the oil production, and attacked Iraqi policemen and police stations. All these actions were to maintain instability in Iraq, with the goal of al Qaeda being able to have its own country.
It now seems that al Qaeda's mission in Iraq is greatly diminished. Overshadowed by the event is another event of great significance. Newly elected Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki has filled out his cabinet, appointing ministers to the politically sensitive Ministries of Defense and the Interior. This was done with the approval of all three of the major factions in the Iraqi government. Pro democracy sentiments in Iraq are on the rise.
With all this good news, we cannot be too optimistic about our mission in Iraq. There is still the Saddamist/Baathi insurgency, and the Shia separatist movement that will continue, perhaps even step up their operations against the fledgling government. As much as we hope and pray that our forces be brought home soon, our support in Iraq will continue to be necessary until Iraqi democracy is secure and stable. If we pull support prematurely, we are in danger of being complacent in establishing another Pinochet-like, or Iran Mullah-like regime in Iraq, elements of our history for which we have been severely criticized. If democracy and freedom do not succeed in Iraq, everything up to this point will have been in vain. Now is not the time for defeat to be snatched from the jaws of victory.

Undoubtedly, there will be those conspiracy theorists that will say that this was all staged to detract attention from the alleged Haditha incident, involving US Marines. However, it is very likely that there will be courts martials concerning the cover-up, and possibly, if the crime was committed, of those soldiers responsible. This is nothing to be celebrated, but it is nothing to be detracted from either. Such courts martials will still be heralded by the opposition as proof that "America is Evil." It is sad that this tragedy will be so exploited, in the wake of good news, but it is inevitable.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Senate Debating Inheritance Tax

I really do not think the government needs to tax inheritance. It has already taxed the same money as it was earned and invested. What for? More bureaucracy and useless spending bills. On the other hand, there were a 100% tax on inheritance all along, think how much better off the world would be: No Kennedys, Paris Hilton, George Soros, Move, and John Kerry would have had to think of a different reason to get married twice.