Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Chicken, Meet Hawk

Perhaps we could have made a humane trap for Zarqawi, like the ones that are sometimes used to catch invasive rodents. The Army could have dug a 10 foot-deep hole (with soft mattresses at the bottom, of course) and baited it with two or three scantily clad 14 year old girls.

That no doubt would have been effective. But I liked the bombing thing a lot better. David Luban, a conehead from Georgetown Law, disagrees:

This month's killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi may mark a turning point in the struggle against terrorism and the insurgency in Iraq. But the fact that he was killed by a pair of U.S. bombs, rather than captured and turned over to the Iraqis for trial, does no favors for Iraq in its struggle to establish the rule of law. Nor does it help that the bombing killed five others -- maybe terrorists, but maybe innocent civilians.

It apparently never occurred to Luban that such open-ended, hindsight-intensive reasoning from a law professor 7,000 miles away from the situation could maybe possibly provoke an aneurysm in persons with an IQ above cod liver oil.

And right now, nobody in the field is really concerned with "establishing the rule of law" in Iraq. They're more concerned with self-preservation and amputating a deep and virulent cancer from that country. But if the capture and trial of a high profile mass-murderer is essential to "establishing the rule of law" in Iraq, well, we've already crossed that item off the checklist.

Under the laws of war, Al-Zarqawi was undoubtedly a legitimate target. Enemy commanders are fair game. And no one outside his family should shed tears for Al-Zarqawi, who maimed and murdered hundreds with ruthless brutality. Moreover, there may have been valid military reasons to blow him up rather than capture him. According to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, military officials feared that going in on the ground risked Al-Zarqawi's escape, even though U.S. and Iraqi forces had surrounded the house Al-Zarqawi was in and, indeed, had taken over the entire village.

Nevertheless, there is something disturbing about targeted killing when capture is possible.

STOP!!!! There's something familiar going on here...

So this guy would have rather seen American and Iraqi soldiers storm the compound of a well known and well-armed sociopathic killer, risking (and likely for some of them, incurring) death or serious injury; a raid that would almost certainly end with the death of Zarqawi and everyone else in the building anyway. Achieving the same end with a tactic that exposes our boys to minimal risk of injury (during a WAR mind you) is "illegal" or "disturbing"?

What was it about that "chickenhawk" slur that the lefties love to drool out? Oh yeah:

...a political epithet used in United States to criticize a politician, bureaucrat, or commentator who strongly supports a war or other military action, but has never personally been in a war, especially (but not always) if that person is perceived to have actively avoided military service when of draft age. [Emphasis mine.]

OK. I'm looking over Luban's professional vita, and I'm not seeing any military service.

He got his PhD in 1974, meaning that - unless he was some sort of Doogie Howser-like prodigy - Luban would have been eligible for the Vietnam draft.

And he just wrote that he would rather have American troops putting themselves in harm's way to arrest that murdering psycho instead of watching the fireworks from a safe distance. You know what that makes him?



Whoa. I feel stupider for just having written that. Which explains a lot.

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