*scroll down for updates*

Just when you think the press couldn’t get any more absurd. Read this from John at Powerline:

General William Caldwell told a press conference this morning that Musab al-Zarqawi survived the bombing of this safe house, at least briefly, and was still alive when the first U.S. and Iraqi forces arrived on the scene. This strikes me as a point of little importance, although I would like to think that, at least for a brief moment, Zarqawi knew what hit him.

But the journalists who participated in the press conference, apparently by satellite, seemed to think they were on the trail of a Cover-Up. I saw most of the press conference early this morning. News of Zarqawi’s brief survival immediately led to questions about whether he had been finished off by the troops, and whether our soldiers had tried to render first aid. At one point, a reporter asked whether the published photos of Zarqawi’s face had been Photoshopped to make them look more like Zarqawi. I don’t think Caldwell had any idea what the guy was talking about; he said Yes, we decided to clean up Zarqawi’s face before photographing him. This led to a follow-up question about whether the photos had been digitally enhanced.

At this and other points in the press conference, Gen. Caldwell had the look, I thought, of a normal person who wonders whether he has been transported into a world of lunatics. It seemed that some of the reporters, at least, thought they were on to another “scandal”–Zarqawi murdered by U.S. troops! In cold blood, as Jack Murtha likes to say.

What’s happening here is that, obviously the demise of Zarqawi is good for Iraq, and for the President. The MSM has already made it clear they don’t like this development (something they have in common with the hardcore anti-war left Bush-hating crowd). Right now they’re looking for something, anything they can use to detract from the good news that Zarqawi – a vicious menace and bane to the security and stability of Iraq – won’t be around to behead anymore innocent people, won’t be around to strike fear into the hearts of people who desire peace.

And won’t be around to hamper the US mission for democracy in Iraq.

It’s the same thing the hardcore anti-war left are doing except they’re doing it in a different way. Instead of worrying about when he met his demise, the anti-war left are saying it’s no big deal, Bush created him, he was just a figurehead, yada yada. But the most interesting thing about that is the fact that the left has asserted for two years now, thanks to this story, that the President “let Zarqawi get away” with the implication being that “Bush is bad! Incompetent! He let this terrorist mastermind who likes to terrorize innocent Iraqis almost as much as our military live to see another day!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

But now that Zarqawi is gone? Their reaction: ‘Bush created him!!!!!!!!!!! Figurehead!!!!! We [the US] have killed more Iraqis than Zarqawi ever did!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!’. In other words, their b*tching that Bush ‘let him get away’ was nothing but pure BS.

If lives weren’t at stake here, this flip-flopping, spin game on Zarqawi’s death perpetrated by the press and the anti-war left would be amusing. But lives ARE at stake, and the reactions of the media and the hard left to the death of a well known terrorist mastermind are absolutely pathetic. You’d almost think neither one of them (the media or the anti-war left) don’t want the US to see their goal of a free, stable, and democratic Iraq come to full fruition.

But we mustn’t question their patriotism ….

As a sidenote, I think it’s cool as hell to know that the last thing Zarqawi saw before he bit the dust were the US military and members of the Iraqi police force. Justice well served.

Oh, and check out this picture found from the rubble of Zarqawi’s safe house. Heh.

On a more upbeat note, make sure to check out Jeff Goldstein’s interview w/ Zarqawi post-mortem. It’s a world exclusive you don’t want to miss ;)

Update I: More media idiocy (we’ll call it mediocy):

Iraqi raises questions on al-Zarqawi death

BAGHDAD, Iraq – 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 Saturday about the events surrounding the end of Iraq’s most-wanted militant.

The man, who lived near the scene of the bombing, claimed in an interview with AP Television News to have seen U.S. soldiers beating an injured man resembling al-Zarqawi until blood flowed from the man’s nose.

When asked about the man’s allegations, military spokesman Maj. Gen. William Caldwell said he would check. In Washington, Pentagon spokesman Jeffrey Gordon said Saturday he was unaware of the claim.

The Iraqi, identified as Mohammed Ahmed, claimed that residents put the man in an ambulance before U.S. forces arrived. The American military team then pulled the man from the ambulance and beat him, Ahmed said. He gave a similar account to The Washington Post.

No other witnesses have come forward to corroborate the account of a man resembling al-Zarqawi being beaten. U.S. officials have only said al-Zarqawi mumbled and tried to roll off a stretcher before dying.

Sigh. Somebody call Human Rights Watch! /mediocy font

Update II: Wanted to add this as well: Let’s assume for a moment that this unidentified Iraqi’s story is true: if so, who cares? This animal beheaded countless innocent people – and videotaped the beheadings for the world to see, recruited jihadists, coordinated and participated in terrorist attacks all over Iraq … so would I feel any differently if I found out US troops completed the job that the 500 lb bombs did not? Not one bit. The damn bomb was supposed to kill him anyway – if US troops finished the job the bomb started, more power to ’em.

Update III: The first page ofthis story would give the casual reader the impression that Zarqawi was just a little fish swimming in a sea of sharks. I’m sure the writers don’t mean to give that impression, though …

Also blogging about this: Captain Ed, Tigerhawk, All Things Beautiful, Riehl World View

(Original post time 8:29 a.m.)

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