There’s a lot of dodgy US accounts of the death of al Zarqawi. First, they said he was killed right away in the air strike, then they said he was still breathing and mumbling a few words before he expired. They even claimed to be resuscitating him to keep him alive.
Maj Gen William Caldwell, a US. military spokesman in Baghdad initially told reporters: "He was dead when we arrived there."
Then one day later he changed his story to Zarqawi was clinging to life when Iraqi and, later, American forces arrived at the scene of the bombing that killed him. Apparently when the Americans arrived, he was already restrained to a stretcher, tried to move but obviously couldn’t and mumbled something indistinguishable.
Caldwell said: "Everybody re-secured him back onto the stretcher, but he died almost immediately thereafter from the wounds he'd received from this air strike."
Note what he said, that Iraqi forces arrived before US troops.
However, Ali Abbas, a man living nearby the building bombed by the US airstrike witnessed how Zarqawi was killed. He said that Zarqawi was still alive when he was being evacuated by some locals from the house that was destroyed by US warplanes.
The Americans, and not Iraqi troops, arrived first, and finding Zarqawi still alive, assaulted him.
The Washington Post said Ahmed Mohammed, a local resident who rushed to the scene shortly after the bombs helped others pull Zarqawi from the rubble. Ahmad also said that when the US forces arrived, they took Zarqawi aside and kept asking him his name. When he did not respond, the soldiers kicked him and hit him until his nose began to bleed.
Besides Zarqawi, the air strike killed his spiritual adviser, Sheik Abdel Rahman, another man and three women. Initially there was a report that a couple of female children died but the Americans changed the story to 3 women instead. I suppose killing women doesn't sound as bad as killing kids.
Then the villagers of Hibhib, where Zarqawi was killed, said US forces had raided several other houses in the vicinity one day later, killing four people and wounding four others. Why, the Americans didn't respond nor explain.
About 4 miles away from where Zarqawi died US soldiers burst into a house in the early hours of around 4:15 a.m. The occupant, Ayad Abdul Hadi Hirmis al-Ibadi, said the American intruders hit him with their rifles and kicked him as he lay on the ground.
When his brother came to his aid, he was shot and killed. His father, who was on the roof of the house, was also shot and killed. His home was virtually destroyed, its walls blackened and pockmarked with bullet holes, its roof riddled with large holes. Ho hum, just some rag heads.
Colonel Fadhil Azzawi, chief of the Hibhib police force, said it was unclear why the Ibadis' home was targeted. He described the family as Shiite Muslims. Most of the insurgents linked to Zarqawi, who had called for a war against Shiites, are Sunni Arabs.
But the Americans obviously couldn’t distinguish a Shiite from a Botswanan, let alone a Sunni, nor would they be bothered. After all, they were all Arabs, weren’t they, including those women/female kids.
While very few would shed a tear over Zarqawi, a terrorist who was frown upon even by Osama bin Laden for the former’s loose cannon crazy car bombings of even Iraqis, the US unmitigated killing of women and children in the process of killing Zarqawi shows a callous disregard for innocent Iraqi lives by American troops. It's the usual collateral damage approach.
It’s hardly surprising that some of them had massacred Iraqi families including toddlers in Haditha a la My Lai. They have inherited the tradition of Wounded Knee, where they (US government) stole native properties and then had the US 7th Calvary massacred them, complete with a full inquiry and the usual and not unexpected full exoneration for the officer responsible for the slaughter.
It's the way of the American military.
The US 7th Calvary was decimated by the American natives at Little Big Horn.