Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Berg: Too Soft on Terrorism

Michael Berg has entered into the public arena now that he is running for the U.S. House of Representatives on the Green party ticket from our state of Delaware. Unfortunately, that means that he must endure public scrutiny. This is unfortunate because no doubt he still grieves deeply over the murder of his son Nicholas Berg at the hands of al-Zarqawi and company.

Berg has made some statements which reveal how he would act as a representative in government. On May 21, 2004, Michael Berg wrote an opinion piece for Guardian Unlimited, an online paper out of the United Kingdom. Some excerpts follow:

"Don't you blame the five men who killed him?" I have answered that I blame them no more or less than the Bush administration, but I am wrong: I am sure, knowing my son, that somewhere during their association with him these men became aware of what an extraordinary man my son was. I take comfort that when they did the awful thing they did, they weren't quite as in to it as they might have been. I am sure that they came to admire him.

I am sure that the one who wielded the knife felt Nick's breath on his hand and knew that he had a real human being there. I am sure that the others looked into my son's eyes and got at least a glimmer of what the rest of the world sees. And I am sure that these murderers, for just a brief moment, did not like what they were doing.

George Bush...cannot feel my pain...because he is a policymaker...

Even more than those murderers who took my son's life, I can't stand those who sit and make policies to end lives and break the lives of the still living.

So what were we to do when we in America were attacked on September 11, that infamous day? I say we should have done then what we never did before: stop speaking to the people we labelled our enemies and start listening to them. Stop giving preconditions to our peaceful coexistence on this small planet, and start honouring and respecting every human's need to live free and autonomously...

We need to let the evildoers on both sides of the Atlantic know that we are fed up with war. We are fed up with the killing and bombing and maiming of innocent people...We want world peace now.
(Please click on the link to read his full commentary.)

Nicholas Berg probably was a son of whom any parent would be proud. However, while it probably gives Mr. Berg some measure of comfort to believe "that when they did the awful thing they did, they weren't quite as in to it as they might have been" and "that they came to admire [his son]," he is, in fact, displaying incredible naivete. Sickeningly, human beings do exist for whom murder is a thrill. He has no basis, no evidence that "the one who wielded the knife felt Nick's breath on his hand and knew that he had a real human being there." Murderers, especially torturers, first must dehumanize their victims in order to do their heinous crimes. Al-Zarqawi and company came to Iraq solely to kill innocent Iraqis and U.S. soldiers for the purpose of keeping Iraq from gaining liberty. His whole career there was killing innocent people. Nick Berg was no one to him but one more person to kill. They video-taped themselves sawing off his head. How much respect can someone have for another to do something so disgusting?

Then Mr. Berg makes a horrible assumption. While the terrorists "weren't quite as in to it", President George Bush, he assures us, cannot feel his pain or feel sympathy for him like others do because he is a "policymaker" and an "evildoer". In fact, "even more than those murderers who took [Berg's] son's life, he can't stand those who sit and make policies..." Doesn't his anger seem a little misplaced? His son chose to go to Iraq; he was not sent. Surely Nicholas took into consideration that he was going into a war zone and that he was risking his life. Yet when his life was callously extinguished, Berg blamed the President of the United States and Rumsfeld more than the terrorists who had crossed into Iraq for the sole purpose of harming the innocent and thwarting the attempts of the U.S. to establish democracy. From quotes last week, it is clear that he has not changed his mind.

Furthermore, if Mr. Berg were representing us, he would have had us sit down and listen to terrorists after they murdered 3000 of us on 9/11 and not give them preconditions for coexistence on Earth. However, the U.S. did listen. We heard what the terrorists had to say. They want us dead. They want us humilitated. They want our civilians to live in fear. It is a reasonable precondition that no one comes onto our soil and attacks our people. They violated it. And it is a reasonable to let the world know we will stand up for ourselves and for the liberty of others. Even Neville Chamberlain realized he'd been duped once Hitler started invading more countries. Appeasement didn't work to stave off World War II and it won't work with people whose goal is our destruction and subjection to their laws. There is no basis for discussion with the unreasonable.

As far as wanting world peace now, well, who doesn't? But pacifism doesn't buy peace. It buys oppression. Does the "rape of Belgium" ring any bells? Neville Chamberlain did Europe no good back in the 1930s and channeling him now won't help us today.

Michael Berg may mean well, but this kind of muddled thinking is not what we need from our leaders. Not only does he lack the experience needed for office, but he lacks the worldly wisdom a leader should possess. The U.S. would be less safe with Berg in Congress. We can't afford yet another "leader" who is soft on terrorism.


At 6/13/2006 2:14 PM, Blogger Christopher Taylor said...

Politics are strange and its impossible to predict with any great certainty but I cannot see this guy getting more than 10% of the vote.

At 6/13/2006 3:39 PM, Anonymous Andy said...

Michael Berg seems to be another name on the growing list of parents, headlined by Cindy Sheehan, who have been spiritually broken by the loss of their children. It makes me more proud of those who have suffered loss but retained perspective and a measure of personal resolve.

At 6/13/2006 6:55 PM, Blogger gutshot said...

Cindy Sheehan and Michael Berg are two ideologues. They are basically grownup peaceniks. The frustrating thing is that the media will trumpet their ideas, while giving no time to the vast majority of parents who believe their children died for a noble cause. Of course, how does that benefit the liberal cause?

At 6/14/2006 11:40 AM, Blogger miriam said...

I believe that Berg is vicious and full of hatred. I'm sorry his son died, because the son seems to have been a good man, while the father is (unprintable).


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