UPDATE: KABOOM!!! (Murdoc introspective on a Sunday morning)

We’ve got guests, were up very late last night, and are playing hooky from church this morning. We’ll be there this afternoon for a mini-“retreat”, though, so that’s got to count for something…

Yesterday I noted the timely demise of Hamza Rabia, killed by a CIA Predator UAV with a Hellfire laser-guided missile. A couple of the comments left on that post by regulars have prodded me into posting a bit on two things that have been on my mind for some time.

This post is for discussion purposes only.


Now all that needs to happen is to set up a video camera pointing at this guy just before the missile hits, and get somebody to repeat “God is great” in the background.

Then maybe it will get a play on network news alongside videos of Marines getting blown up. That would be fair and balanced, right?

Personally I’m waiting for “America’s Funniest JDAM Impacts”. Can’t wait…

Sorry, that was a bit sick, but then again so is playing this kind of crap on the evening news.

This idea of “America’s Funniest JDAM Impacts” would, indeed, be fair footage to offset the negative stories about Americans killed. But it also strays a bit too close to “Two Minutes of Hate” for Murdoc.

This, the morning after Murdoc happily wrote “Rest in pieces, Hamza Rabia.”

Remember the “Let the Bodies Hit the Floor” video? The Iraqi cards with 52 of the highest-ranked officials in Saddam’s government and military?

(Full Disclosure: I have the cards of the Iraqis accounted for pinned up on a bulletin board over my desk at work. Sometimes people stop by to check them out, ask if we’ve got anybody new lately, or to wonder if the latest insurgent leader captured/killed was on the list. Sometimes people notice it and are visibly appalled.)

I don’t question the value of the cards as a tool for those in the hunt for the Iraqi leadership. Despite my actions, I sometimes wonder about it as a sort of scoreboard for those keeping score at home. I also won’t question the value of the “Let the Bodies Hit the Floor” video, as I can attest to the blood-roiling enthusiasm it generated in me. Despite this, I sometimes wonder if that is the way I want to be or what I want my attitude to be.

For instance, I don’t let my kids watch that video.

At what point does the cheerleading and celebration over the destruction of our enemies make us something we don’t want to be?

Before you get all up in arms, Murdoc is not wondering if we should be glad for the death of bad guys like Hamza Rabia or the sons of Saddam Hussein. We should. They are important parts of our victory over those that threaten our way of life. I’m thankful our spooks killed Rabia and I hope they kill more like him very soon. I hope they keep killing them for as long as men like that walk upon God’s green earth.

But I do wonder sometimes. I do think such celebration is “a bit sick”.


Old fashioned patriot has this short piece showing how these ‘stunning victories in the war on terror’ always seem to happen right after a US mass casualty report.


Here’s the post on Old Fashioned Patriot:

Saturday, December 03, 2005
Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead!

This list isn’t all inclusive but I am noticing a pattern here:

Nov 19th – 9 US Soldiers Killed
Nov 20th – al-Zarqawi Dead? Al Qaeda Terrorist Perhaps Killed in Firefight

Nov 16th – 8 US Soldiers Killed

Nov 2nd – 7 US Soldiers Killed
Nov 3rd – Top Al Qaeda Leader Believed Captured

Sep 28th – 7 US Soldiers Killed
Sep 28th – Al-Qaida chief killed, says Pakistan

That’s been noticed before, and I’ll admit that sometimes I wonder about it a bit. The problem is, of course, that someone can probably find all sorts of patterns if they look for them.

To really discuss this particular pattern meaningfully, we first need to define what the threshold for a “US mass casualty report”. (FWIW, all the examples in that post are less than ten, but whatever.)

Once we can agree what a “US mass casualty report” is, we need to define a threshold for the level of the killed/captured Al Qaeda operative. We’re getting these guys all the time (many of them ‘key’ guys or ‘key lieutenant’ guys), so it’s no wonder that someone can pull up a list of “US mass casualty reports” (however they define it) and google up press release or news item about capturing or killing a bad guy the next day.

Finally, we need to determine a window. One day? Two days? And how do we treat announcements made days or weeks after the capture/kill? For instance, the announcement yesterday of Rabia’s death noted that he had been killed on Thursday, a gap of two days. Was Chimpy Bushitler saving it up for a rainy day? Entirely plausible. Or did they withhold announcing it so that they could attempt to gather intelligence from the wreckage and roll up some of those closely connected with Rabia before they became aware of how close the heat was? Not only plausible, but absolutely demanded.

And what of the fact that this doesn’t seem to have been an official announcement to begin with, but a leak by “sources”? Clever Rovian StrategyTM or a Pakistani with loose lips?

To play, we need three things:

  • The threshold for a “US mass casualty report” in number of dead (i.e., “9 dead”)
  • The level of the bad guy(s) killed or captured (i.e., “Top Al Qaeda leader” or “Key Zarqawi Lieutenant”)
  • The maximum window for the announcement to be “linked” to the “US mass casualty report”

Determining whether there is a “pattern” is the first step in discussing said “pattern”. If there seems to be one, we can go on to the second step, which is, of course, blaming Bush and Cheney trying to discuss the pattern in a meaningful and enlightening way.

Good frickin’ luck on that second step, by the way…

Anyway, let’s hear what you have to say. On both of these subjects.


  1. I find gloating over anyone’s death (even the terrorists) pretty wrong. That’s why I was so angry yesterday. I’m not going to cry over a dead terrorist, and I think it’s a good thing they’ve terrorized their last, I wouldn’t want to celebrate either. It’s a rather grim and unfortunate task we have – a necessary one, but not what I would call enjoyable. It’s a bit different for the soldiers. I can understand why they need to be happy about taking down a target. It’s difficult for a civliized person to make a living out of killing people and there are things they need to do to cope with it. Part of what makes us different from them is we value life. We even have to value theirs, a little. It’s their fault that they’ve forfeited their own, though. So I feel sad when they die, but it needs to be done. Sorry about the comment yesterday, I was pretty upset.

  2. Well first off I think it would be great if someone would keep a running list of terrorists killed. So, when we see 2,000 Americans have been killed we can also see 200,000 terrorists killed (that is a nice number ;) ). That would give us some perspective. As for the morality of rejoicing at the annihilation of terrorists; two scriptures come to mind. One says not to gloat when trouble befalls your enemy, the other, that the people rejoice when the wicked perish. So its my thinking that we should have some kind of ballance. I don’t think that we should feel guilty when we are glad over the death of these guys. Yet it shouldn’t be the same as getting free ice cream. Since we are commanded to pray for our enemies I try to remember to pray two things – 1. that they would quickly repent (and surrender) 2. that if they refuse to repent a Hellfire missile will find them more quickly. Death to ALL terrorists!!