This is a hard one for me to write. One one hand, there is no doubt in my mind that Michael Berg, the father of Nick Berg, loves his son. As you know, Nick Berg is the person who was ritually beheaded in front of a video camera so that the terrorists could display the horrible footage to the world.
The obvious aspect of this tragedy is that Nick Berg, by all accounts, was a young man who cared about people and was hoping to make a difference in the world. He had travelled to other impoverished nations and raised and spent money to try and improve their lives. Nick seemed to be a person intent on doing good in the world. Yet, his honorable life was horribly ended.
The ironic twist of this story, which few have given mention, is the fact that Nick’s life was ended after he was, not once, but twice profiled. The first incident of profiling was, of course, by Iraqi security. In a routine check of papers, they found a man claiming to be an American among a group of Iraqis whose name was Jewish and whose passport had stamps showing two visits to Israel, among other countries.
An American Jew among Iraqis, with possible ties to Israel? So they detained him for a number of days to verify his story. During his detention, the FBI was notified and they met two or three times with Nick, contacted the parents to verify his identify, and on April 6, Nick was released.
The second incidence of racial profiling occurred after Nick was captured by terrorists in Iraq on April 9. I’m sure they focused in on the same information as did Iraqi security; a Jewish man with American and Israeli connections. This made him the perfect fodder for their radical beliefs. Ultimately, what Nick Berg got was the “Daniel Pearl treatment;” no more, no less.
Of course, the terrorists in the video (one of whom is now thought to be Zarqawi) claimed this was all revenge for what had been done to Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghrabe, but anyone with half a brain knows better. Nick Berg got the same kind of treatment that Jews often get at the hands of Islamic extremists… The same kind of treatment that Tali Hatuel, eight months pregnant, received a few weeks back when she and her four girls, ages 2 to 11, were all murdered in their car, shot at point blank range by terrorists, with an extra bullet to the mother’s stomach to assure that the baby went the way of the other five.
Okay, all that is obvious. Now for the not-so-obvious tragedy which, yesterday, presented itself to the world… Michael Berg’s claim to the press that George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld were really responsible for Nick’s murder.
As I listened to Michael Berg, obviously fighting back tears, rattle off the same anti-Bush talking points he learned working with the radical left organization, International ANSWER, I just couldn’t help but feel even worse for Nick Berg and the rest of Nick’s family. There stood Nick’s father, a man whose hatred for George Bush had grown so intense, he was even willing to polticize his son’s own death!
What about the radical Islamists who performed the brutal act? Victims, of course, of US aggression and arrogance. Those poor terrorists, they have been so bullied and harried that, like animals, they’ll do violence to anyone they can get their hands on. Its our fault since we pushed them to this extreme.
And on goes the man’s pitiful sad rhetoric…
A father willing to turn his brave son’s life and death into a political footnote for Campaign 2004. I guess he’s just being a good socialist. Which is why, to me, this is the most devastating aspect of the Nick Berg tragedy. The terrorists used Nick’s murder for political purposes, and then so did his father.