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Berg Of Arabia


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When Nick Berg, an American entrepreneur who traveled to Iraq in search of business, was savagely murdered two years ago by Islamic militants, his father seemed angrier at George Bush than at the hellish creatures who slowly and painstakingly sawed off his poor son’s head.

The Monitor was reluctant at the time to subject Michael Berg to the negative scrutiny he richly deserved – sympathy for a grieving father can have a tranquilizing effect on even the most aggressive attack dogs – but now that Papa Berg is a candidate for political office, he’s fair game.

Berg, running for Congress from Delaware on the Green Party ticket, was all over the media last week after American bombs dispatched Al Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi to Islamic Paradise. It was immediately obvious that Berg’s thinking – a charitable characterization of the conspiracy-driven sludge that flows through his head – has changed not a whit since the last time anyone paid him any mind.

Zarqawi was the driving force behind a number of brutal beheadings in Iraq and is widely believed to have been the hooded figure seen decapitating a pleading, moaning, terrified Nick Berg on the infamous video that quickly made its way around the Internet. But Michael Berg was not at all in a celebratory mood over the news that his son’s likely killer – and the certain killer of untold numbers of other innocent human beings – had come to a bloody and inglorious end.

“I have no sense of relief, just sadness that another human being had to die,” Berg told Reuters in a phone interview last week. He elaborated his views on Fox News, in the process demonstrating a striking ignorance of Zarqawi’s personal history and motives: “George Bush,” he said, “is the one that [sic] invaded this country, George Bush is the one that [sic] destabilized it so that Zarqawi could get in, so that Zarqawi had a need to get in, to defend his region of the country from American invaders.”

Berg has expressed doubt on several occasions that Zarqawi had anything to do with his son’s death – not that he necessarily believes his son’s even dead, because that’s what the nefarious American government wants us to believe, see, and you’ve got to get up pretty early in the morning to fool a clever feller like Michael Berg.

In a profile of Berg last month in the Philadelphia City Paper, Alexandra Zendrian wrote: “Michael Berg won’t even say with certainty that he thinks his son was murdered….Berg cannot ‘believe or disbelieve’ that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi…murdered Nick, for two reasons: The government has lied on other occasions, he says, so how can he conclusively determine whether Zarqawi was even involved in the incident? And if that’s the case, how can he believe or disbelieve that his son is dead?”

What if Zarqawi did indeed kill his son? Not a big deal to the magnanimous Berg, who, wrote Zendrian, “thinks the international terrorist did what he allegedly did only because he had the basic human desire for independence. But, Berg says, he ‘did the right thing in the wrong way.’”

Berg evinces no such understanding for President Bush. Asked last week what would satisfy him, considering that he took not even the slightest solace in the elimination of Zarqawi, Berg responded: “The end of the war and getting rid of George Bush.”

Should one be at all surprised? This is a man, after all, who shortly after his son’s murder wrote a column for Britain’s leftist Guardian newspaper in which he attributed pangs of humanity to the terrorists but none to President Bush.

By the way, a photo accompanying the aforementioned Philadelphia City Paper article shows Michael Berg standing against a brick wall wearing something very interesting around his neck. A Star of David? Don’t be silly. It’s a checkered kaffiyeh, the cloth headdress favored by the late Yasir Arafat and which for decades has been a symbol of Palestinian nationalism.

Berg seems to like his politicized fashion accessory. Readers who’ll take a moment to visit his campaign website (bergforcongress.us/endorsements/index_endorsements.php) will find a nice color photo of a beaming Berg standing with antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan (“My son joined the Army to protect America, not Israel”), who enthusiastically endorses Berg’s candidacy. She’s not the one wearing the kaffiyeh.

About the Author: Jason Maoz is the Senior Editor of The Jewish Press.


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