This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/81
The advent of the new ' Dark Ages of Mecca' - Pictures of the beheading of Nick Berg from Arab website
May 12, 2004
The last moments of Nick Berg before he was murdered by militant Islamists.
"My name is Nick Berg. My father's name is Michael. My mother's name is Suzanne," the man, seated in a chair, says. "I have a brother and sister, David and Sara. I live in ... Philadelphia."
The video then cuts to Berg sitting on the floor, his hands tied behind his back, flanked by the masked men, as a statement is read in Arabic. Berg sits still during the statement, facing the camera, occasionally raising his shoulders.
After the statement, the assailant directly behind Berg takes a large knife from under his clothing while another pulls Berg onto his side. The tape shows assailants thrusting the knife through his neck. A scream sounds before the men cut Berg's head off, repeatedly shouting "Allahu Akbar!" - or "God is great."
They then hold the head out before the camera.
The Islamist killers of Nick Berg held up his decapitated head victoriously in front of the camera and shouted "Allah Akbar".
This is graphic proof that we in the civilized world are literally facing the advent of a new "Dark Ages of Mecca".
The hooded executioners in the medieval dungeons have morphed into killers in keffiyahs.
War is hell and there is no place for "mea culpeas' or compromise when faced with the savagery of militant Islam.
Any weakening of our resolve will only embolden our foes and sabotage the war on terror.
America is the "last beacon of hope in a steadily darkening world".
"I don't want my Army, my government using the standard of 'We're not as bad as them.' That's not the standard," said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a colonel in the Army reserves and a judge advocate general.
"These people were murderers and animals long before they captured [Berg]. ... We have to follow these people to the gates of hell if that's what it takes ... they are truly the enemy of everything we believe." http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,119690,00.html
The Beheading of Nick Berg: What the War on Terror is All About
May 13, 2004
by Tom Purcell
I made the mistake of looking at the images of what they did to Nick Berg.
It's hard for Americans to imagine anyone doing this to an innocent man, but they did. It's hard to imagine they would praise God while doing it, but they did that, too.
I can't think of a better illustration of what the war on terror is about.
Nick Berg was a typical American idealist. He was a free spirit, his friends said, one of the coolest and wittiest fellows around.
He was a bright fellow who attended Cornell and the University of Pennsylvania. He probably spent many a night with his friends knocking back a beer and talking about his dreams.
One of his dreams was to help people. He went to Ghana to help the poor. He taught them how to make bricks and build homes. Full of the American spirit, Berg didn't see problems. He saw challenges. And all any challenge requires is a solution.
He didn't graduate, but started his own telecommunications firm. Unlike his father, a Democrat who opposed the war, Berg was a Republican who favored it. You can imagine some spirited conversations around the dinner table Sunday nights.
He went to Iraq on his own to make a few bucks and help rebuild the country, help support democracy for people who never knew it. An employee at the Baghdad hotel said he was friendly as could be. Cheerful. Said he wanted to learn Arabic. Said he came back every night with some beers in his bag and a smile on his face.
Berg had reason to smile. He believed in the future. He believed in the power of the individual. He went to Iraq to share his skills and help build up the country's infrastructure. It would be an adventure. And in his own small way, he could help the struggling country grow and prosper.
His murderers saw the future, too, and it terrifies them. The future of Iraq involves women who are liberated and girls who freely attend school. Men will no longer rule society in the new Iraq. Principles will rule -- civil rights for all, the rule of law, free elections, women who vote.
Whereas Berg lived to build and improve, they live to tear down and destroy. Berg was curious about the world and loved to travel and learn how others think. They disdain the world. Any ideas that contradict their own must be muffled. Any people whose will is contrary to their own must be eliminated.
Berg was an idealist, after all, who celebrated life. Like many Americans, he knew in his bones that our beliefs and way of life will set the world free. Freedom will unleash the human spirit, giving birth to new ideas and innovations. Capitalism will unleash economic miracles that will allow families to grow and prosper.
They are idealists, too, but they celebrate death. They have disdain for this life -- disdain for anyone who dares live differently than they do. And they believe that they kill in celebration of God. Why else would they praise God's name while cutting off the head of an innocent man?
Yeah, Nick Berg was a perfect example of what the war on terror is all about. He was na´ve and idealistic and he paid for both with his life. America is na´ve and idealistic, too. Our idealism brought us into Iraq.
The world mocks us for our simplicity. Democracy can never work where religious fanatics live and breathe, they say, and recent events favor the cynics.
But the world has a choice. If American idealism wins, more people will be given freedom and hope -- more will celebrate life, as Berg did.
But if America loses, the culture of death will win. More women will be oppressed. More economies will falter. More people will suffer and die.
Nick Berg, your end came way too early. The world has lost a great soul. But at least you left this conflicted planet celebrating life. I can't imagine God finding fault with that.
BAGHDAD - Speaking through masks, the militants in Iraq made their purpose clear. One reason they would behead American captive Nick Berg - an act that appeared Tuesday on an Al Qaeda-linked website - was revenge for the torture and "Satanic degradation" of Iraqis by US troops at Abu Ghraib prison. They promised "coffin after coffin, slaughtered in this way."
Questions persist about Mr. Berg's presence in Iraq, his detention by Iraqi police, and three visits during that time by FBI investigators who apparently cleared him of involvement in terror activities, US officials said Wednesday in Baghdad.
Berg was released from custody on April 6, after being told to depart the country, and disappeared April 9. His body was found Saturday in Baghdad.
Iraqis widely condemned the beheading. While many oppose the occupation, they do not support insurgents whose steady attacks that have left more Iraqis dead than Americans. Still, many understand the rationale of revenge, which taps deep anger felt across Iraq as more photos of prison abuse are revealed.
Even in the humblest Iraqi homes, where optimism about US occupation trades off with disappointment, the scandal resonated. "I want your knife, to slaughter a US soldier with it," says 10-year-old Mahmoud, without joking, as he toys with the blade of a visitor in the Methboub family home. "I want to kill the woman in the photos. I'll go all the way to Abu Ghraib to kill her."
"What do you think, if a child thinks that?" asks his teenage sister Amal. "I was optimistic before [about the US presence], but I've lost my hope in peace."
"I advise every American to leave, especially after the prisoners," says Amal. "On the streets, people talk about making a CD showing killings and torture of Americans in revenge."
When queried about the mutilation of four US contractors on March 27 - the event that began this blood feud, in the mind of many Americans - Amal says the killers may have "had their reasons."
"If it's just a matter for revenge, everything will be destroyed," says Amal, as she weighs the question of moral equivalency. Foreign fighters have come to help poison the mix, she says. "[Iraq] is not a country anymore, it's a battlefield."
That view is shared by many Iraqis. Even though large-scale reconstruction projects are getting under way - eight ministries have been put under Iraqi control ahead of the June 30 handover of sovereignty - the prison scandal grates.
"Saddam Hussein had a lot of trained killers and trained terrorists, and the Americans killed their future from the first day - they have no choice but to fight," says a doctor who asked not to be named.
"We were so happy! When the Americans came to within 100 yards of my house, I was the first to take their pictures," says the doctor. "This new [prison] scandal will ... feed terrorists in Iraq and across the Arab world for 20 years."
If video footage is released that shows the rape of a female Iraqi prisoner by US guards, which is widely rumored here to exist, "This country will burn," he warns.
Facts are secondary in importance to perceptions for most Iraqis. Morgue attendant Hatem Jamil, at the Al-Kadhimiya Teaching Hospital, recently received the corpse of a middle-age man - with trimmed moustache and dress shoes - who Iraqi police said had been shot by nervous US forces when he chanced upon the aftermath of an anti-US attack.
"We have so many cases of people shot by the Americans...it's an uncountable number," says Mr. Jamil, pointing toward a worn registry book. He claims that two-thirds of the bodies he receives were shot by US forces - a figure other medical staff here say is far lower, perhaps 5 percent.
"When [the Americans] first came in, we thought they were going to lift us to the sky," says Jamil, who wears a watch decorated with the face of the anti-US cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. "After six months, everything turned upside down. When someone shoots at Americans, why do they shoot back at a neighborhood?"
The Methboub family has a recent US leaflet trumpeting "partnership" between US troops and local authorities to renovate 60 schools (twins Duha and Hibba proudly point to a photo of theirs), hospitals, sewage stations, and soccer fields.
The leaflet tallies more than $4.5 million spent on construction in the area, 80 percent of it awarded to local contractors. More than 200 "terrorists" have been captured. Pictures show smiling US soldiers and Iraqis at ribbon-cutting ceremonies.
But the Methboubs grumble such improvements have passed them by. They admit the changes are good, but it only makes their shock greater that US forces engaged in barbarous acts at the prison.
Four months ago, in fact, a relative who delivers food to prisoners at Abu Ghraib told them hair-raising stories of US woman guards making male inmates strip, and setting attack dogs on them.
"We didn't believe Americans could do such a thing," says Karima Methboub, mother of the family. "They don't want the situation to improve. They want bombs, the instability, so they can stay in Iraq."
Mahmoud has his own ideas. "That American woman, I want to hang her here on the door," he threatens, as he mimes pummeling an imaginary US prison guard.
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Dispute Continues Over Bodies
"The ball is in Israel's court," Khader Habib, a leader of the militant group Islamic Jihad, said in an interview here. Asked which of several factions that have claimed to hold remains actually had them, he said: "Everyone has some. We have the head."
The Israeli Army said that it sent its forces on a routine mission overnight Monday to destroy workshops that it said were factories for crude rockets. The soldiers died on their way out, when their armored vehicle, which was carrying explosives, rolled over a planted bomb.
Gideon Meir, the deputy director general of the Israeli Foreign ministry, said soldiers would stay in Gaza City until they collected all the body parts. "There is an Israeli responsibility, according to the Jewish tradition, that we have to take care of every part of the body and bring it to the grave," he said. "There is a moral responsibility to the soldiers themselves, to the families."
|The beheading of Nick Berg in Iraq |
This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/81