BAGHDAD, Iraq - The U.S. military flew in two forensic specialists Saturday to examine the remains of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi "to see how he actually died" and to reconstruct the last minutes of his life, a spokesman said.
The examination comes after U.S. authorities altered their initial account of the al-Qaida leader's death, first saying he died outright in a U.S. airstrike, then saying he survived but died soon after.
Also, an Iraqi man raised fresh questions, telling Associated Press Television News that he saw U.S. soldiers beating an injured man resembling al-Zarqawi until blood flowed from his nose.
The idea that U.S. soldiers beat up al-Zarqawi makes no sense. If he could be caught alive and in good health, al-Zarqawi would have been invaluable as a source of information about Al Qaeda, both in Iraq and abroad. The "alteration" of the initial account, in my opinion, was the result of miscommunication. But the inquiry should shed some light on this.
The fact that the inquiry is being made at all, however, sickens me. We can either fight a real war or a public relations one. We can't do both. The recent journalistic orgies over "atrocities" by the military, sadly, has colored the perception of our military actions, even legitimate ones, by the Arab street, the MSM and their usual-suspect allies. God forbid that we should win this war - the investment of the left in "Iraq as VietNam" would be for nothing.
For other takes on this, see T.M. Ergin and COgirl.