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"I hope he heard the ticking before he was blown up."

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By Michelle Malkin  •  February 16, 2008 10:33 AM

It’s rare when the media gives voice to a military mom who dissents from the Cindy Sheehan school of anti-war absolute moral authority. So, kudos to the Virginian Pilot for allowing Barbara Rockwell to speak her mind about the long overdue assassination of Hezbo mastermind Imad Mughniyeh. Rockwell’s son was one of the 241 US Marines who were killed in the Mughniyeh-plotted Beirut barracks bombing.

Finally, justice for the 241. And no guilt, no regrets over the hit on the evil jihadi who murdered so many innocent and honorable Americans in the name of Islam:

Barbara Rockwell has a soft way about her. Light brown hair swirls around her face, adorned by oval-framed glasses and gold elephant earrings.

Her voice is comforting and doesn’t become loud or sound angry when she takes delight in a certain man’s death.

“The fact that he got blown up in a car,” Rockwell said, pausing, “I don’t know who did it, but I’d like to thank him.”

The man against whom she has held this grudge for more than 24 years was a Hezbollah commander named Imad Mughniyeh. The reason she held it is that her son, Marine Cpl. Michael Caleb Sauls, along with 240 other U.S. servicemen, was killed in a barracks bombing that Mughniyeh directed on Oct. 23, 1983, in Beirut, Lebanon.

Her son was 20.

The phone in Rockwell’s Virginia Beach house woke her that morning. It was her neighbors, saying they were coming over for coffee. She thought that was weird. They turned on the TV, and that’s how she found out.

“Michael would be 43,” Rockwell said Friday morning. “It would have been nice to see what his children would have been like, or what he would have done. He could have done anything.”

In a backroom of the Southeastern Virginia Training Center, where she works with people with disabilities, Rockwell held a framed photo of Michael. He was about to board a Jeep in front of the building that served as the barracks. Even then, pockmarks dotted the outside walls. Rubble and pulverized concrete covered the sidewalk. Michael wore a camo helmet with this shirt sleeves rolled above his elbows and a whole-faced, tooth-showing smile.

That’s why, when she read the news story Thursday morning that Mughniyeh had been assassinated in a car bombing, Rockwell didn’t feel bad about feeling good.

“It just seemed like a special day, didn’t it?” she said. “Do I feel a little vindicated that he was blown up? Oh, yeah. I hope he heard the ticking before he was blown up.”

***

Caroline Glick write about what Mughniyeh was plotting next:

It is quite possible that terror master Imad Mughniyah was not killed Tuesday night in Damascus for his past crimes, but to prevent him from carrying out additional attacks in the future.

On January 30, French security services raided a Paris apartment and arrested six Arab men. Three of the men — two Lebanese and one Syrian — were travelling on diplomatic passports. According to the Italian Libero newspaper, the six were members of a Hizbullah cell. Seized documents included tourist maps of Paris, London, Madrid, Berlin and Rome marked up with red highlighter to indicate routes, addresses, parking lots and “truck stopping points.”The maps pointed to several routes to Vatican back entrances.

Libero’s report explained that the “truck stopping points” aligned with information the French had received the week before from Beirut. There, Hizbullah chief Hassan Nasrallah convened a conference of his senior terror leaders where he ordered them to activate Hizbullah cells throughout Europe to kidnap senior European leaders.

The day of the arrests, French Defense Minister Herve Morin was meeting with his American counterpart Defense Secretary Robert Gates and with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in Washington on a previously unannounced visit. During his public appearances, Morin criticized the US Intelligence Directorate’s National Intelligence Estimate on Iran’s nuclear program from November. Morin stated, “Coordinated information from a number of intelligence services leads us to believe that Iran has not given up its wish to pursue its [nuclear] program,” and is “continuing to develop” it.

Other recent reports relayed French concern that their embassy in Beirut is being targeted for attack by Hizbullah. On January 15 terrorists targeted a US embassy car in Beirut killing four and wounding sixteen. This week, French President Nicholas Sarkozy’s chief of staff told L’Express newsweekly that the threat of terror against France “remains quite high.”

All of the feared terror attacks against French and European targets have the classic earmarkings of Hizbullah operations chief and Iranian Revolutionary Guards officer Imad Mughniyeh. Mughniyeh was the pioneer of embassy bombings and high-profile kidnappings.

Most of the reports of his death treated Mughniyeh as a has-been. Coverage was devoted to his attacks against American, Israeli and Jewish targets in the 1980s and early 1990s. Yet at the time of his death, Mughniyeh remained one of the most dangerous and prolific terror operatives in the world.

And what we must understand moving forward:

His work revealed the inconvenient truth so fervently denied by policymakers and politicians throughout the Western world. He showed that for the jihadists there is no distinction between terrorists who attack in Israel or Jewish targets abroad and those who attack non-Israeli and non-Jewish targets. Moreover, his work as an Iranian agent demonstrates Iran’s central role in sponsoring jihad throughout the world.

Mughniyeh’s legacy is not simply a laundry list of massacre and torture. It is the nexus of global terror. While it is a great thing that he is dead, it must be understood that his death is insufficient. Hundreds of thousands converged in Beirut to celebrate his life’s work. The West must understand the significance of that work and unite to destroy it — layer after layer.

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