NBC's Tim Russert said the death would probably not "change things on the ground," noting that "foreign fighters are not the only threat that confront Iraq. There is this sectarian violence between the Sunnis and the Shiites, and that is separate above the killing of Zarqawi we're witnessing today."
Yes, Tim, but would it be too painful for you to acknowledge that one of Zarqawi's primary missions was to foment that sectarian violence? Indeed, the Washington Post just reported that, "The stated aim of Zarqawi, 39, in addition to ousting foreign forces from Iraq, was to foment bloody sectarian strife between his fellow Sunni Muslims and members of Iraq's Shiite majority … "
If Zarqawi's death doesn't impress you guys, how about the "treasure trove" of information about terror operations in Iraq that we acquired in 17 raids in and near Baghdad following the attack on Zarqawi? Is that symbolic?
How about the information that led to the attack, which U.S. Army Major Gen. William B. Caldwell IV said was acquired from within Zarqawi's network. Is that symbolic? Of course not, but the not-so-mainstream reporters found another angle from which to attack it. At today's White House press briefing, one reporter suggested that since Zarqawi was fingered by another terrorist, perhaps he wanted "to see Zarqawi dead so that [he] could move into the created vacuum." And they call us reality-challenged!
Similarly disappointing, though not surprising, was the reaction of not-very-hawkish-at-all Congressman John Murtha, D-Pa., whose destructive statements we have no right to challenge because of his military record. (See Ann Coulter's brand-new best seller, "Godless" on the infallibility and incontestability of certain liberal mouthpieces.)
Murtha admitted Zarqawi's killing was significant, but refused to concede to CNN's Carol Lin that it wouldn't have occurred if U.S. troops hadn't been on the ground in Iraq. He also used the occasion to complain about the monetary cost of our continued presence in Iraq and reiterated his claim that Iraq was engaged in a civil war of which Al Qaeda was only a small part. "I think they'll settle this themselves, just like we settled our civil war ourselves. … We've diverted ourselves from the real war on terrorism to the war in Iraq."
The libs can spin it any way they want to, but this was a big, big day for our side.