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What Nick Berg's Murder Tells By: Andrew Sullivan
AndrewSullivan.com | Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Below are excerpts from Andrew Sullivan.com on the Berg beheading - Editors


Wednesday, May 12, 2004
HOW DUMB IS AL QAEDA? This is the really striking thing about the Zarqawi execution of Nick Berg. Al Qaeda never learns. Listening to the hooded coward shriek on that video and reading what he says can only remind us that these people are a) vile, b) as alien to true Islam as the KKK was to the Gospels, c) pathetic and d) dumb. They think they terrify us by this? The gang-murder of an unarmed, innocent civilian? And they think that it will add to the shame of Abu Ghraib, demoralize Americans still further, and prompt a withdrawal? In fact, of course, the Berg beheading does a grim but salutary service. In the midst of our own deserved self-criticism, we are suddenly reminded of the larger stakes, the wider war, why we are in Iraq in the first place.

We do not in any way excuse Abu Ghraib, while seeing that any sort of moral equivalence between our flawed democracy and Islamism's pathological hatred is obscene. In a purely strategic sense, stiffening American resolve and inflaming American outrage at this juncture is exactly what a smart al Qaeda would avoid. But there is no such thing as a smart al Qaeda. evil can somtimes be stupid, and often is. Hitler, we recall, invaded the Soviet Union. For our part, we must not take the deeper bait, which is to associate these fanatics with Arabs or Islam as a whole. This is not a war against Islam. It is a war to save Islam. And a democratic Iraq - not run by mullahs - is indispensable to that end.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

AN INSANE SPIN: How are the media this stupid? AOL headlines: "Abuse Scandal's Deadly Fallout" referring to the hideous beheading of Nick Berg. Or this idiocy: "American Beheaded for Abuse." Do these people have no memories? This is al Qaeda. They beheaded Daniel Pearl long before the war in Iraq. They murdered thousands in New York City long before Saddam was removed from power. And they are as stupid as they are evil. Iraqis now have contrasting images. Do they want to be run by people who cut innocent people's throats at will or by people who have removed a dictator and are investigating unethical abuse of prison inmates? Zarqawi has now done something for our morale as well as his. He has reminded us of the real enemy; and he has reminded the Iraqis. One simple question: will CNN now show these video stills? I know it must be torment for the family. But if we are in a propaganda war, as we are, we need to be as ruthless in publicizing the murders committed by our enemy as we are in exposing the abuses committed by our own.

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