By MARC McDONALD
It seems like all the talking heads in Pundit Land are overjoyed at the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
Even a lot of liberal Web sites are gleeful. I have to admit, I was a bit baffled by the Daily Kos post that happily celebrated al-Zarqawi's death. For a moment there, I thought I'd mistakenly clicked into ShootALiberal.com or some other right-wing nutcase site.
Curiously, the one person you'd expect to be more grateful than anyone for al-Zarqawi's death, Michael Berg, father of slain hostage Nick Berg, emphasized Thursday that he wasn't happy at all and called it a "tragedy." Instead of expressing bloodthirsty glee, Michael was a rare voice of reason on a day when America's pampered, overpaid talking heads were expressing happiness.
"Zarqawi felt my son's breath on his hand as held the knife against his throat. Zarqawi had to look in his eyes when he did it," Berg said in an Associated Press interview. "George Bush sits there glassy-eyed in his office with pieces of paper and condemns people to death. That to me is a real terrorist."
Let's assume that al-Zarqawi was indeed an evil bastard who tortured people and blew up civilians. Does the U.S.--or Bush--have a moral leg to stand on in criticizing him?
I don't think we do. The fact is: our leaders are guilty of the same crimes that we accused al-Zarqawi of----and on a much grander scale. The only difference is that, instead of being inspired by religious fanaticism, our leaders are motivated by plain, old grubby money (in the form of Iraq's oil).
Al-Zarqawi was accused of being behind a wave of terror, including such acts as torture, the slaughtering of civilians and the beheading of hostages.
Hmmmm. Torture. The killing of civilians. Assassinations.
Does that ring a bell? Actually, that is something the U.S. was doing long before Bush's illegal and immoral invasion of Iraq.
You want torture? How about Abu Ghraib prison?
How about the killing of civilians? Try Haditha. And if you want to open the discussion up beyond Iraq, the U.S. has killed many civilians worldwide over the years (millions in Vietnam alone).
Assassinations? The U.S. is guilty of too many to list here. However, I will mention that ironically, the CIA once contracted none other than Saddam Hussein himself to attempt an assassination of Iraq's prime minister in 1959.
How about U.S. bombings that have killed tens of thousands of men, women and children in Iraq? The carnage from U.S. bombs dwarfs al-Zarqawi's death toll many times over.
Granted, we haven't beheaded any hostages. But we have done crimes that even al-Zarqawi never did (such as using horrifying chemical weapons that melt human flesh on the people of Fallujah).
And we've probably also done a million other things that our lazy, incompetent media has never bothered to report.
Bottom line: the U.S. has committed the very same crimes that it accused al-Zarqawi of. Instead of celebrating his death, we need to take a good, hard look at ourselves and consider whether we've sunk to the same depth of evil as our enemies.
Frankly, the likes of bloodthirsty, hate-spewers like Ann Coulter and Glenn Beck scare me every bit as much as al-Zarqawi and bin Laden. The only difference is that the latter are willing to die for their beliefs, while Coulter and Beck cynically exploit Bush's "war on terror" with their hate-filled jingoistic tirades, so that they can fund their millionaire's lifestyles of luxury and comfort.