June 9, 2006

"He mumbled something but it was indistinguishable and it was very short."

The "he" was al-Zarqawi, still alive after the bombing:
[A military spokesman] said that when the terrorist "attempted to sort of turn away off the stretcher, everybody resecured him back onto the stretcher. ... He died almost immediately thereafter from the wounds he'd received from this airstrike."

"We did in fact see him alive," Caldwell said. "There was some sort of movement he had on the stretcher and he did die a short time later. There was confirmation from the Iraqi police that he was found alive."
In case you were hoping he suffered, you got your wish.


37383938393839383938383 said...

Apparently, he didn't suffer as much as was first reported. What he was heard to utter with his last breath was, "I just saved money by switching to GEICO..."

Joe said...

Someone who would personally saw the head off a live human being because he is Jewish, not to mention his numerous other atrocities against innocents, might deserve to suffer at least a little bit.

TWM said...

It's not seeing him suffer that I like, but that he had those last few moments to realize that American troops got him.

That is sweet, indeed.

Sloanasaurus said...

Worse than Americans for Zarqawi is a shia policeman.

Pogo said...

I hope he enjoys his 70 white raisins. He should chew slowly, however, to savor them longer.

Verification word (and Z-man's final utterance): fbkdramh

Troy said...

Who'd a thunk Zarqawi and Bill Murray have something in common -- of course Zarqawi didn't have Scarlett Johansson (sp.?) to mutter to.

LoafingOaf said...

he had those last few moments to realize that American troops got him.

Yeah, that does make it even better!

But...I do hope he suffered too.

John said...

The above quotes, "I just saved money..." are LOL funny, but I can't help think that some of this is in some way a response to the conspiratorial left's kooky claims that the military "pulled him out of the freezer' to get some good PR. I haven't been to Kos or others to see how they are slanting this bit of news.

Goesh said...

-and don't ya' just know that one of the Special Ops guys told him, " President Bush sends his regards"...

The Drill SGT said...

I have this vision of "Cool Hand Luke" with Luke shot and loaded into the back of the ambulance as it takes the long slow drive off.

I hope somebody whispered in his ear, "bring in the pig".

knoxgirl said...


I went to crooksandliars to look for the Daily Show video Ann was referring to in an earlier post, and the comments on the killing of zarqawi were overwhelmingly negative or at best dismissive.

Joe said...

Knoxgirl, that is why many people have said they are not anti-war, they are just on the other side.

LoafingOaf said...

I hope this isn't a stupid question, but what exactly do they do with the body of someone as monstrous as Zarqawi? It would seem wrong if he got a proper grave.

(I started typing what I think should be done with his body but I have Ann's post about how people googling what you're up to on the Internet in mind and I've decided to censor myself......)

The Drill SGT said...

LoafingOaf said...
I hope this isn't a stupid question, but what exactly do they do with the body of someone as monstrous as Zarqawi?

well there are a couple of options including th use of pigs, cremation, etc.

Alternately, there's the unmarked grave in the potters field option.

I like the Custis-Lee option better though. Announce that you'll only turn over the body to his next in command, who must report in person to pick it up.

AllenS said...

He mumbled: "qtzcv", which, by the way, is also the Word Verification.

Meaning: "Dang!"

Ann Althouse said...

Loafing Oaf: Yesterday, I got a ton of Google traffic from searches like "zarqawi dead photo," where I was coming up near the top of searches because of this old post.

As for the dead body, don't they turn it over to family members if they come forward?

PatCA said...

"It's not seeing him suffer that I like, but that he had those last few moments to realize that American troops got him."


37383938393839383938383 said...

As for the dead body, don't they turn it over to family members if they come forward?

I was going to post a joke, but then I remembered that much of his family -- 27 brothers and cousins, or so -- publicly disowned him in a Jordanian newspaper advert. (Or something like that.) There might not actually be any family to claim the body.

Jennifer said...

knoxgirl - Did you find the Daily Show clip? I'd love to see it.

TWM - Absolutely! I could care less if he died with his head on a bed of roses. I'm just glad he knew it was us and that Task Force 145 got the chance to look him in the eye.

mcg said...

twm is right on the money. the best thing about him being found alive is that he died in the custody of the enemy.

Internet Ronin said...

I don't particularly care whether or not he suffered. I do hope that his remains are not returned to his family but placed in an unmarked grave in a remote section of the desert.

Palladian said...

"Either these drapes go or I do..."

TWM said...

Dammit Palladian, you made me spit out my Diet Coke.

Joe T said...

"Who'd a thunk Zarqawi and Bill Murray have something in common -- of course Zarqawi didn't have Scarlett Johansson (sp.?) to mutter to."

In keeping with the Murray angle, I wonder if, on his deathbed, Zarqawi received total consciousness.

amba said...

How do you say "Rosebud" in Arabic?

Ruth Anne Adams said...

I won't speak for God, but for those of us mere mortals who suspect that the suffering might just be beginning for Zarqawi.

Eternity. It's a bitch, ain't it?

The Drill SGT said...

I bet he said,

"Ahmed, I told you to quit screwing around with the switch on that suicide vest".

mcg said...

Eternity. It's a bitch, ain't it?

The world's shortest sermon, delivered on a sweltering summer day in the Deep South (or was it the deserts of Iraq?):

"You think it's hot here..."

knoxgirl said...

How do you say "Rosebud" in Arabic?


altoids1306 said...

Painful death? Probably, although the body responds to massive trauma in strange ways.

The way ancient Chinese used to get revenge was a painful death, followed by a prolonged lashing of the corpse.

Acad Ronin said...

Although I shed no tears over his death, and will raise a toast tonight to the people that got him, I would have preferred it if we could have taken him alive, not only for the intelligence value, but for the humiliation of trial, and his seeing all his goals turn to dust.

Finn Kristiansen said...

Okay, this strikes me as odd. I was listening to NPR at work. They did a little segment about how special forces were on the scene first (before Iraqi policemen and then regular U.S. forces). They secured the area, surrounding the house. Then it was said that they used various methods to keep track of who was in the house, and also, possibly helped with bomb targeting.

But then, this was the odd part. It said Special Forces units (after the bombing?) moved in an took out tons of files and documents, some of which were then used for about 17 other raids soon after.

Question 1: Why do we always opt to drop massive bombs on our targets, rather than just surrounding them and starving or fighting them out? (Is it perhaps the Tommy Franks effect, where he let Osama slip through his hands, only to be later, and wrongly, rewarded?).

Question 2: Is the size of the bombs (500 tons) perhaps propaganda? For how can someone survive that, or how can forces move in to gather evidence, paperwork, etc? Are the houses/bunkers that fortified? Or do we say the bombs are that big to strike fear into people, while in actuality using smaller bombs that will allow us to get the evidence we need?

I just thought it all a bit odd that we can surround someone, drop a massive bomb (or two in this case) and not only not kill the person, but manage to gather a ton of documentation at the same time.

Very curious.

As for Zarqawi, he probably had one of those rare moments where you can see time stop as questions come hurtling at your brain, and you sit, stunned, unable to form or control the answers, but knowing, the end is nigh, the game is up, and you will be judged on everything you placed value on, and you can fool, mislead, or deceive no longer. Sort of that Gene Hackman moment in Unforgiven right before he gets blown away by Eastwood.

In any case, nice to see our boys, and Iraqi boys, and Jordanian boys have a moment of deserved success. In time, more will come.

P. Froward said...

Acad Ronin,

The humiliation of a trial? For whom? How's that working out with Saddam Hussein?

No, if we put him on trial it'd just be a chance for the media and every lefty from Murtha on out to David Duke to slobber all over him. It's better this way.

Finn Kristiansen,

500 pounds, Finn. Not tons. Pounds. Why would that be propaganda, exactly? It's not "massive" as bombs go.

The 17 raids the same night were based on prior information. They've said there were subsequent raids, starting the next day, based on information from Zarq's safe house.

I can't recall hearing anything about "tons" of material, or any specific amount. There were some disk drives, USB drives, and so on, according to one source.

A bomb is not a death-ray. People have survived in bombed houses before. Zarq may also have been outside taking a leak, or whatever. Reality is less tidily boolean than you suggest.

I'm kind of doubting you're enough of an expert on this stuff to judge exactly what the effects of two 500-lb bombs ought to have been, anyway, even if you had a lot more information than you have.

But anyway, I suppose it's possible that the story's been modified to some degree, for reasons of operational security or information warfare. If so, good. We pay the military (not nearly well enough) to fight wars. That's their job.

Mark Daniels said...

Hmmm, until I added this comment, there was a tie in the number of comments made to your posts on al-Zarqawi's last moments and on the Brangelina baby, death and birth, respectively.

I have no idea what that might mean.


Elizabeth said...

No matter how much you spin it, David Duke is not a lefty. He is a Nazi, he is a former leader of the Ku Klux Klan. He is a garden variety fascist. He's a darling of the Russians these days because he hates Jews. He is a right-wing nutcase, and, it happens, a registered Republican. To their credit, the Republicans in Louisiana worked very hard to defeat him when he ran for the U.S. Senate and for governor.

Finn Kristiansen said...

P. Froward:

Huffy aren't we.

Forgive the "informational typo"... 500 pounds sounds more accurate, and does not one wit change my thoughts. 1000 pounds atop a house, with you in it, and stuff of yours, will probably clear you out, burn you down, and leave little to recover.

I think the general point here is, why bomb at all if they are surrounded and doesn't that run the risk of destroying evidence or information you might want to obtain?

That we managed to get documents out, amazes me, but clearly, as a civilian, and working off the top of my head, the scope of my understanding of how they do these things is limited.

Some choices just seem odd, and some choices that were made in the past have proved less than competent.

I guess I am just interested in the rationale behind our recent decisions to drop bombs on people, as opposed to surrounding them and killing them.

You see, in the sandbox in which we are playing, even the people who support us (the Iraqi on the street), don't entirely believe what we tell them, so one would think we would start trying to capture people whole (but dead), andin a manner that best preserves DNA and appearance. (Then we can avoid situations where we are sitting around trying to determine whether the old man in some crater beneath a bomb we droned was actually Osama, or Eli the goat herder).

Or maybe that's just crazy.

Daryl Herbert said...

The proper way to dispose of the remains of a despicable person is to give them a proper, but anonymous (unmarked) grave.

It's generally considered a mark of good manners not to mistreat corpses. There are no reasonable situations I am aware of that would justify desecrating a corpse for desecration's sake.

Jennifer said...

Finn: Why would we risk the lives of Task Force 145 and countless civilian lives to run a protracted seige when we could just drop a bomb and be done with it?

As for the effect of the bombs, I think you watch too many movies. Most civilians would be quite surprised at the difference between special effects and real weaponry.

But, just use common sense. The bombs didn't kill anyone outside of the house. Have you seen Iraqi neighborhoods? We're not talking about giant lots with huge spaces between the houses. If the bombs didn't even affect anyone outside of the house, they probably didn't blow the house or its contents to smithereens.

P. Froward said...


A direct hit, in the right spot, with a knitting needle will kill somebody.

So why didn't they just drop a knitting needle from the F-16?

Work on that for a few weeks and get back to me if you ever develop a theory about it. Take all the time you need.

If they'd taken any chances at all with this, they might have missed him. And then people like you would be howling about how they let him go. You can't please people who retroactively redefine their demands to exclude whatever you actually did.


The house wasn't in a neighborhood; it was by itself in a grove of trees. From one picture I saw, there was a crater with pieces of house in it.

PatCA said...

You could always enlist and show them how to do it properly.

AlaskaJack said...

Elizabeth: "David Duke is not a lefty. He is a Nazi."

But the Nazis were National Socialists, i.e., the National Socialist German Workers Party.
Doesn't this make Nazis leftists?

Daryl Herbert said...

In re: the left v. right debate:

I think it only makes sense to compare left to right when they are both democratic.

The democratic left (e.g. Democrats) and right (e.g. Republicans) have more in common with each other than with dangerous, undemocratic tyrants (e.g. Chinese gov't, Hugo Chavez, Adolf Hitler).

It really doesn't matter where you stand on the left-right scale once you abandon the commitment to democratic government. And we've seen how willing left/right-wing tyrants are to work together.

It really doesn't matter if Howard Dean and Hugo Chavez have a lot of policy positions in common, if one is committed to leading a free country and the other is rigging elections, violently suppressing dissent, etc.

Elizabeth said...

No, AlaskaJack, it does not. The Nazis were nationalists first and foremost. Having the name "socialist" in the party label doesn't mean much. Misnomers abound in political parties. The Nazi economy wasn't worker-owned. The big machines of business in the Reich were owned by the German aristocracy; they were private and capitalist. This attempt to label the Nazis leftist is fairly common and recent bit of revisionist history, maybe out of a desire to purify rightwing politics of its extremism. But I don't think we need associate the American right with Fascism, nor the left with Communism. Those ideologies are both there on the extremes of each wing, but they haven't much to do with American politics.

The Drill SGT said...


Here are the bombs for beginners links. hehe, I didn't make up the name :) The first link describes basic effects. The most important factiod is that a 500lb GP (general purpose) bomb is about 1/2 explosive and the rest is the steel shell, which must be strong enough toin swelling the bomb casing to 1.5 times its normal size prior to fragmenting and then imparting velocity to those fragments. Amazing...

As for it being overkill? When you care enough to send the very best, you always use two weapons... stuff happens, look at Carter's ill fated Desert One disaster, when we shorted the number of helo's and didn't use the best (Marine) pilots, anyway...

Imagine what the press would say if we'd muffed this one? There's a good solid military saying for these circumstances, that likely you won't appreciate, given the dialog thus far.

There are very few military operations that have failed by using too much force, or detonations by using too much explosive.

2 Bombs, first fused delay and the second contact, IMHO.


These two links describe what I think are the most likely things that the F-16 would have dropped GBU12 500lb GP or JDAM 500lb



Finn Kristiansen said...

Thank you Drill Sgt and those who provided additional information regarding the methods and types of bombs in use.

I want to make clear that I am not advocating NOT killing, or NOT using bombs. I was expressing curiosity over why we use bombs in certain situations like that, and whether their usage might have an adverse impact by destroying bodies, evidence and information.

Jennifer said...
Finn: Why would we risk the lives of Task Force 145 and countless civilian lives to run a protracted seige when we could just drop a bomb and be done with it?

I don't know, maybe to guarantee you come up with a body? In that part of the world, where superstition runs wild, and people think the worst of the U.S., one wants to be able to prove everything. What may appear to cost more troop lives up front, may, long term, prove beneficial in reducing lives lost.

But Jen, you are probably right, given the neighborhood and support he might have had.

PatCA said...
You could always enlist and show them how to do it properly.

Well I could, if I were younger (enlist that is, not show them how to do it properly). Oh Patca, I was tempted to say something sarcastic and annoying back, but I think I will just refer you back to my questions. I was not saying this was improper, but asking if it's the best way, and why such tactics are used.

PatCA said...

Guess I misunderstood you, Finn. No offense intended.