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On the official US response to the killing of Zarqawi
There is something not only politically odious, but psychologically perverse in the lurid and manic response of the US government and media to the killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. The exultation in the Islamist terrorist’s demise, replete with gruesome photos of the corpse plastered across newspapers and displayed on TV screens, takes on an almost ritualistic character. The killing of Saddam Hussein’s sons and the capture of the former Iraqi president evoked similar official responses.
President Bush was reportedly “thrilled” when he got the news Wednesday night of the successful hit, although he was evidently coached to contain his euphoria when he went before the cameras Thursday morning to announce the “good news.” Much of the media, however, evinced no such restraint.
“Gotcha!” was the front-page headline on Friday’s New York Post tabloid, atop a full-page photo of the dead man’s scarred face lying in a pool a blood. The newspaper’s inside headline read: “Evil Zarqawi Blown to Hell.”
The New York Daily News front page exclaimed “PICTURE PERFECT! Al Qaeda Terror Boss Blown Right to Hell.” Below was US soldier holding a large framed copy of the same photo.
The “respectable” New York Times ran a banner headline of the size normally reserved for presidential elections or natural catastrophes, with the same grisly photograph taking up about a fourth of the front page.
This spectacle bespeaks both the mindset of the American ruling elite, and what it seeks to inculcate among the public at large. Terms that come to mind in regard to the outlook of the ruling establishment are “primitive,” “backward” and “self-delusionary.” It retains an almost childish belief that it can somehow extricate itself from the disaster it has created for itself in Iraq if only it can kill another 5,000, 10,000 or 100,000 people.