everything old is new again

On Nick Berg

May 13, 2004
On Nick Berg

I’ve been meaning to comment about the horror of Nick Berg’s beheading, but haven’t had the time to properly put into words how I feel about this.

Bottom line — this is horrifying. No civilized society should condone such activities. I’ve seen the pictures and felt revulsion over them, just as I did over the Daniel Pearl pictures.

But. Of course there’s a but; I wouldn’t be me without one.

Unlike those on the Right, I do not believe the beheading gives us the moral high ground to go in and pave over the towns in Iraq, like I’ve seen written on a number of wingnut sites. This is not about his being Jewish, which I saw one woman claim on her site. The comments to her post on this were horrifying, such as this one:

I am at the point now where I feel no mercy. If these islamofascists want to behave like animals, then we should eradicate them as such. We cant win a war with our hands tied behind our backs. Vietnam should have taught us that.

Enough kid gloves. Go in full force and take care of it as we can easily do.

For the record, to me, islamofascist is a code-word for brown-skinned ragheads; it’s a form of subtle racism.

In the days and weeks after September 11, 2001, the world rallied around the United States. The sheer magnitude and horror of that day sent ripples across the very fabric of civilization. We had an opportunity then to lead a Good War, a Just War, if you will, against terrorism. When, three weeks later, we began operations in Afghanistan, it was deemed a good beginning.

But then we dropped the ball. The administration, blinded by its own ideologists, did everything it could to link Iraq and Al Qaeda. While they never publicly stated that there was a link, they inferred it enough — click here for an old post of mine regarding that particular tid-bit — so much so, in fact, that look how many people believed in January 2003 that Iraqis were involved in the terror attacks.

There was no connection between Iraq and September 11th.

Repeat that:

There was no connection between Iraq and September 11th.

So what does this have to do with Nick Berg?

We’ve laid the groundwork in Iraq with incidents like Abu Ghraib for further acts of evil. Every day that we continue down our reckless path, forgoing world support and insisting on blindly following some neocon fantasy in Iraq, we remove ourselves from any moral high ground when it comes to atrocities such as this.

Berg was beheaded, which is, as I said, horrifying.

But what about what we did to this guy?

Don’t say you can’t equate the two, as you most certainly can. Dehumanization and torture are happening, and not just by Al Qaida. We’re supposed to be better than what’s been happening in Iraq and Afghanistan. We’re playing directly into bin Laden’s hands every time the Shrub says something like, “Dead or alive,” or news of more scandals like Abu Ghraib surface. The Iraqi people know what’s been happening in their country and aren’t going to stand for it much longer.

We brought this on ourselves. We had Al Qaida running in October and November of 2001. Now? Now they’re opening up shop all over the place, with Africa becoming a base of operations for them. Why? Because we continue to play into their hands.

Now, Kerry likely won’t be able to do much better when it comes to the War on Terror, given how much ShrubCo has screwed the pooch, but it’ll be a start. The statements of “You don’t change the president during wartime,” are as dumb as I’ve heard, considering he’s had three years and zero success. Afghanistan is falling back into Taliban hands; Iraq was never a link in the terror chain until we tossed Hussein out on his ass. Now it’s a fertile breeding ground for bin Laden’s boys, as every innocent killed, arrested, or humiliated adds more fuel to their recruiting surges.

And this is why we should re-elect the Shrub?? He’s helped spread terrorism with his policies, not contain it.

Ask yourself this question and be honest with yourself: Do you feel safer and more secure now than you did on September 12th, 2001?

If you answered “yes,” then you’re living in a fantasy world, my friend. Coming back from my vacation, I felt rejuvenated. Now, a mere four days later, I find a sense of unease settling in that just won’t go away.

We’ve made a mess of it, and the future is bleak.

Nick Berg is but one of the latest casualties in this conflict. We cannot allow this to blind us into doing even more acts of evil in response. Two wrongs do not make a right. We need to reclaim the moral high ground, which given the ineptitude of this administration seems unlikely. Until we somehow do, we’re only going to see more things of this nature.

Pax.

One Response to On Nick Berg

  • Right. We’re supposed to be the good guys. What happened to Nick Berg is evil, plain and simple. Committing more acts of evil in his name won’t make him any less dead, and it certainly won’t make his family feel better.