Friday, June 09, 2006

What do you do with Zarqawi's corpse?

Today, a plaque was placed at the site of Hitler's Berlin bunker -- and his death -- by German historians. Some people complained that neo-Nazis might now use the site as a shrine to one of the great criminals of all times. More than 60 years later, we worry about Hitler's symbolism.

Ironically, today we also hold the corpse of Musab al-Zarqawi. Presuming we will not desecrate him any further than dropping two 500-pound bombs on him, how does one dispose of the body of terrorism's great symbols? If you give him back to his people his symbolism will transcend his mortal coil. If you toss him in a dumpster, it doesn't say much about who we are.

What should be done with a monster's corpse?

13 comments:

Anna Venger said...

What do you suggest?

Ron Franscell said...

You know, the Russians seized Hitler's remains, which disappeared for decades. I don't think they were ever properly buried or disposed of. And in the 1970s and '80s, I thought that was a terribly inhumane act of military-industrial proportions.

But now, in my own day with my own monsters, there's something appealing to "disappearing" Zarqawi ... except for the fact that it might elevate him to fabled status and leave the door open to a resurrection mythology.

Maybe a well-attended, well-publicized cremation (although I think cremation is a no-no for Muslims.) The scattering of ashes in secret at an undisclosed place would end it.

Or maybe we simply give less radical Muslims the body and supervised its disposal under their religious laws, to ensure it doesn't become more of a symbol than Zarqawi already is.

Imagine if the dead guy were Osama. The competing interests for possession of his corpse would be phenomenal.

But I want to hear what other people think about this. I imagine there are better ideas out there.

Kvatch said...

Carve his bones into little flutes for children?

But seriously, there is no good solution. As the Klingon's would say, "It is an empty husk, treat it as such."

SingingSkies said...

The angry, hateful part of me thinks that maybe it's appropriate to give his shell to the wives and mothers of those he's killed (even if it's only through inciting others to do his dirty work). Robert A. Heinlein has often suggested that it is the female of the species which is the most viscious. It wouldn't surprise me if that were true.

Truth is, I'm not sure there is a good solution. Any way one turns seems to lead toward visibility and enshrinement as a martyr. Of course, those who follow in his footsteps are seeking ways to justify their continued course of action, regardless of what happens to Zarqawi's remains.

I'm grateful it's a decision I don't have to make.

About:Blank said...

Personally, I say toss it in the dumpster.

aj

That Cleaning Lady said...

Well - we could look at the well publicized burial and funeral of Elvis... how many times since he died in 1977 (?) (I was in high school) has someone said they saw Elvis? I think the best is to release what's left and let his people dispose of his body in their religious way - but I do like the idea of carving his bones into flutes for the children -- very clever!!

Chancelucky said...

I"m still sort of amazed that you can have 2 five hundred pound bombs dropped almost directly on top of you and there'd still be a corpse.

Love, Rita said...

Part of me (a very large part, I might add) wants to toss it into the dumpster, but to do so would be completely inhumane. I believe his body should be returned to his followers. It would allow them to see firsthand where the path they have chosen will lead. We have already made our point, by relentlessly tracking and destroying him.

His death will not spell the end of Al-Quaida, indeed the death of the leader means only that the second-in-command has now been promoted to leader. We just don't know the leader's name yet.

Mike said...
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Mike said...

The best thing to do with his corpse is neither something particularly odious (although that would certainly be understandable: my inclination would be to feed his leftovers to rats), nor to turn it over to his followers(!!!! I can't believe "Love Rita" actually suggested this. His followers are terrorists who, if we did locate them, we should kill rather than give them Zarqawi's body). Instead, the best thing to do would be what he would probably hate the most...nothing in particular. Just cremation and dispose the ashes. This monster deserves no more effort and no better treatment.

Mike
www.factsandlogic.blogspot.com

Sam Thornton said...

If we're the decent folks we think we are and claim to be, return Zarqawi to his family.

urthwalker said...

newsday has this quote: "He added that no decision had been made on what to do with the remains of al-Zarqawi and his spiritual adviser, Sheik Abdul-Rahman, who also was killed instantly in Wednesday's airstrike."

http://www.thehindsightfactor.com

Bookworm said...

I'm with you on the cremation idea, followed by a very public scattering of the ashes at sea (so no one can collect them). I wouldn't do it disrespectfully, because we can't afford to offend his fellow religionists, but I certainly wouldn't allow a cult of the remains to develop.