06/09/2006 07:46 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

NJ Chairman Wrong to Attack Anti-War Senator Over Zarqawi

It is correct to rejoice in the killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. He was a monster the enormity of whose crimes defy description. But what is getting lost in the media and the government's euphoria is that it was the incredibly misguided US invasion that rose Zarqawi to prominence. It transformed him from a virtual nobody in Islamist extremist circles into a leader of their movement. It gave him an open field to perpetrate his heinous crimes. So for the US military and Bush to keep beating their chests is dead wrong. Their actions created him, and then they had to take him down. In the meantime, this butcher killed hundreds of innocent Iraqis and foreigners.

So for the New Jersey Republican Party state chairman, Tom Wilson, to attack Bob Menendez today, who I distinctly recall hearing on the radio at the time delivering a brilliant speech on the House floor explaining why he was voting AGAINST the resolution giving Bush the power to invade, shows willful ignorance.

Wilson said:

" ... This moment also provides a clear and compelling reminder of why Bob Menendez should not be sitting in the United States Senate. If Bob Menendez had his way, Zarqawi would still be leading a campaign of car bombings, assassinations, suicide attacks, kidnapping and beheadings in order to make Iraq a safe haven from which al Qaeda could continue its war against freedom and the American way of life. If Bob Menendez had his way, Mr. Zarqawi would be alive and plotting the next attack on America, Great Britain, Canada or who knows where."

Wilson completely misses the point. Had Menendez's position prevailed and there were no invasion of Iraq, Zarqawi would still be the petty, obscure thug he was before March 2003.