Unless I feel the need to list milestones or count successes, I think I’ll forget al-Zarqawi in a few days. But before he is tossed off onto the ash-heap of history, there are a few things worth looking at.

First, the media just can’t wait to report anything bad about the military. Here’s a bit from an NBC story:

An Iraqi man who was one of the first people on the scene after an air strike that led to the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi told Associated Press Television News that he saw American troops beating a man who had a beard like the al-Qaida leader.

The witness said he saw the man lying on the ground, badly wounded but still alive. He said U.S. troops arriving on the scene wrapped the man’s head in an Arab robe and began beating him. His account cannot be independently verified.

There’s a bit more detail in this Yahoo report of the story.

U.S. officials have altered their account of the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, saying he was alive and partly conscious after bombs destroyed his hideout, and an Iraqi man raised fresh questions about the events surrounding the end of Iraq’s most-wanted militant….

The Iraqi, identified only as Mohammed, said residents put a bearded man in an ambulance before U.S. forces arrived. He said the man was found lying next to an irrigation canal.

“He was still alive. We put him in the ambulance, but when the Americans arrived they took him out of the ambulance, they beat him on his stomach and wrapped his head with his dishdasha, then they stomped on his stomach and his chest until he died and blood came out of his nose,” Mohammed said, without saying how he knew the man was dead.

Notice the “cannot be independently verified” caveat on the story, but they have no problem running with it. Feel free to call up the Associated Press and tell them that you saw some Democrat Senator buggering sheep. I’m sure they’ll have no problem running with that news story even though it “cannot be independently verified.” *eye-roll* But let me go on the record that even if this is true, I don’t care. I just think it would have been more fitting if the first people on the scene had pulled out a dull blade and spent a few minutes cutting off his head to the accompanying chants of “Aloha Snackbar.”

And finally, from the pen of Cox and Forkum comes this great cartoon.

Message for al-Zarqawi

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