You remember that little scene from the Wizard of Of when the curtain is finally pulled back on the Wizard?
That’s what Zarqawi’s death reminds me of today. I believe that Zarqawi’s death will actually turn out to be final nail in the coffin of public support for Bush’s War in Iraq.
Oh, don’t get me wrong: Bush will get an initial bounce. And, I suppose, the military and intelligence operation should be highly commended (though I doubt Bush should get credit, though he will): Zarqawi was a murderous asshole who needed killing. And, by all accounts, the operation to get him was carried out with diligence, patience, competence and aplomb. Iraq, further, will without a doubt be better off for the scumbag’s elimination from this earth.
But in the end, Bush will be hurt by this more than he will be helped.
The reason? Because Bush’s base that still supports this war does so largely out of ignorance. The base that still supports this war, largely, does so because they believe Bush’s lies that:
1) All the problems in Iraq are mostly the result of foreign fighters and terrorists causing trouble;
2) That there are a limited number of foreign fighters and terrorists in Iraq–and that if we just kill enough of them, there will be peace; and
3) That Abu-Musab Al-Zarqawi was the ringleader of these Al-Qaeda foreign fighters.
I have right-wing gaming buddies who have been saying these things for a good long while now–I guarantee you that this is the mindset held by most of those who still support the debacle that is the War in Iraq now.
Well, guess what? The Wicked Witch is Dead. The Wizard is unmasked.
Al-Zarqawi the ringleader is dead. Checkmate–the King is Dead. Al-Qaeda in Iraq decapitated. PROGRESS.
But still and yet, in the reality-based community, the violence in Iraq continues unabated. Still and yet, the real reasons for the violence–centuries-old sectarian divisions, poverty, hopelessness, hatred of the American occupation, corruption, and so much else–continue unaddressed, and even exacerbated by Bush.
Still and yet, the bad news will keep streaming in.
And those ignorant supporters will be forced to come to terms with the reality that killing Al-Zarqawi–while good in and of itself–solved nothing in Iraq. They will be forced to at least reconsider whether they were misled by their President.
Support for the War In Iraq will fall.
And by extension, so will support for Bush–because as Iraq goes, so goes Bush.
So enjoy your bounce, Georgie of Oz. The fall comes shortly thereafter.