Sticking Up For Zarqawi

Joe Malchow drew our attention to this astonishing article in today’s New York Times, in which the Times sticks up for Zarqawi, defending him against what the Times regards as unfair criticism of his weapons-handling technique in the video released by the U.S. military last week:

The weapon in question is complicated to master, and American soldiers and marines undergo many days of training to achieve the most basic competence with it. Moreover, the weapon in Mr. Zarqawi’s hands was an older variant, which makes its malfunctioning unsurprising. The veterans said Mr. Zarqawi, who had spent his years as a terrorist surrounded by simpler weapons of Soviet design, could hardly have been expected to know how to handle it.

Unbelievable. I suppose they could have defended Zarqawi further by noting that his weapon of choice is the knife.

The Times also said they think that releasing the video footage wasn’t effective propaganda because Zarqawi looks “clean and plump.” (Really, I’m not making this up.) Okay, here’s an idea: how about if we haul Khalid Shaikh Mohammed out of whatever cell he’s being kept in and release a video of him? I doubt that he’s looking too “clean and plump” these days. Do you think the Times would like that propaganda effort better? No, I don’t either. Other than waving a white flag, it’s hard to think of anything the military could do of which the Times would approve.