Thursday, June 8, 2006

I am sickened

Today, news agencies around the world reported that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, al Qaeda leader in Iraq, has been killed by a US air strike. Pictures of his dead face appear on and I am just sickened by the actions of the US government and the reactions of the media with regard to this, and other, political killings. Since when has the US had an agenda to kill people instead of bringing them to justice? What kind of justice is killing? And how does this make us any different than terrorists around the world?

If someone had come into our country and killed President Bush, whom many people believe is guilty of war crimes and atrocities similar to those of al-Zarqawi, we would be outraged. But somehow we are ok with the US government targeting and killing a “bad” person. And I don’t condone what Zarqawi has done, but if you knew where he was (which enabled you to bomb him), why not try to capture him instead? Isn’t that what we are there for, to “spread democracy?” Is it “democracy” to kill political figures?

The biggest problem I have with this is, admittedly, not the killing itself but the glorifying of the killing by the government in the media. What kind of message are you sending to the US people, and those abroad, by saying things like this?:

“Click the photo to watch video of bombing”- Headline

"The ideology of terror has lost one of its most visible and aggressive leaders," Bush said. "Zarqawi's death is a severe blow to al Qaeda... Zarqawi personally beheaded American hostages and other civilians in Iraq. Now Zarqawi has met his end and this violent man will never murder again." -statement by President Bush

"Today, Zarqawi has been terminated. This is a message to all those who take violence as a path," - Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki

There is some hope, though...

One of the articles on is an interview with Michael Berg, father to the beheaded Nicholas Berg. Mr. Berg is saddened by the murder of al-Zarqawi, despite the responsibility for the death of his son, and talks about it here:

Thank goodness for a man like Michael Berg. Violence does not stop violence. Education, compassion, and strength stop violence. We just fuel the fire more by being everything they hate. The US is living a isolationist lifestyle (we want to do what we do and not be bothered by anyone) and yet consistently put ourselves out in the world, telling others what to do. It’s one or the other, guys.

I am disappointed, disturbed and despondent about this situation. We need more Michael Berg’s in this world.

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