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May 14, 2004
Just For The Record

Here and there I've read complaints about how the Blogging Left is ignoring the Nick Berg murder.

That's not true. We're not reacting en masse, no. We're not a gang of freepers or it's in today's talking points, okay?

Many of us have good reasons for how we're individually handling the story.

Some of us are discussing it frequently.

Some of us are searching for someone to blame.

Those of us headed for Iraq have personal concerns.

Some of us are focusing on our core beliefs.

Me, I have two thoughts.

First, I have finally learned to wait for the entire story before I jump up and start screaming. I've learned, over the last few years, that much appears in the first 4-5 days after a major story appears and sometimes those facts change the story.

Second, I don't really feel anything about it at the moment. There comes a point when your brain refuses to accept any more. On the heels of the constant stream of stories and images about the murders, rapes, and tortures in Abu Ghraib, I haven't been able to muster a fresh crop out outrage for this additional murder.

It's not that I don't care. It's just that people have been dying in Iraq for a year. USofA soldiers have been dying. Other soldiers have been dying. Aid workers, civilians, and children have been dying. A lot of people have died over the last year.

He was an adult who made an adult choice. Nick Berg knew he was going into a war zone.

I can't find it in myself to regret his death incredibly more than I regret the deaths of the hundreds of Iraqi children, killed, maimed, or wounded by our troops when we dropped a war zone on top of them.

The fact that Berg was "an American" doesn't make his death a worse crime. The fact that many seem to think his death is a worse crime than, for instance, the murder of helpless prisoners in Abu Ghraib suggests to me that in spite of fine words about equality and freedom, many are failing to understand that being in custody doesn't prove guilt.

It doesn't mean we haven't rounded up and imprisoned innocent bystanders. It doesn't mean that when these men (and women) stand, bound, possibly blindfolded, and helpless in front of USofA soldiers, they aren't terrified and afraid of dying.

Yes, it's wrong to kidnap someone and then murder them. But it's no more wrong for "them" to have done it to Nick Berg than it was for "us" to have done it to Iraqis. It's the same crime. Don't you see that?

The people of Iraq didn't invite us in. They do not accept the right of a foreign government to come into their country and dictate to them. Many of the people we rounded up were dragged from their homes, sometimes in the middle of the night. They weren't committing crimes. Some of them were only guilty of Sleeping While Iraqi.

We imprisoned them. We humiliated them. We tortured them. We killed some of them. There is little or no difference, in my eyes, between them and Nick Berg. It's all an outrage. It's all a crime.

But, no…let's not think like that. We're making "war on terror." Let's feed the hatred.

Posted by AnneZook at 10:18 AM


I think you put it well about Nick Berg. He was an adult who made an adult choice, rather like Robert Capra, or any other journalist or worker who goes into a war zone by choice. It's terrible, but there is still the element of non-forced choice, as opposed to those rounded up and tortured by our government, who have no choice.

Posted by: Lawrence Krubner at May 15, 2004 10:29 PM

You put a lot of my thoughts and feelings about Nick Berg and Abu Ghraib into words far better than I could have. I meant to comment on that earlier, but neglected to until now. Wonderful post.

Posted by: Amy at May 18, 2004 05:50 PM