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An astonishing and refreshing response - Peter Hentges

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June 9th, 2006

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11:23 am - An astonishing and refreshing response
I just read what appears to be part of a transcript of an interview on CNN. Soledad O'Brien interviewed Michael Berg. Berg's son was murdered, beheaded, by a person widely believed to be Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Al-Zarqawi was killed by U.S. action recently.

O'Brien presses Berg to admit some feeling of relief or joy in al-Zarqawi's death. He steadfastly refuses. He says he feels sorry for al-Zarqawi's family and believes that al-Zarqawi's death will lead to a wave of retaliatory violence.

This response is astonishing because Berg's son's murder was videotaped and published on the web. A brutal and public slaying. Forced to witness the murder of his own son, Berg retains the strength of will to stay peaceful through his sorrow.

It is also refreshing because it is far too rare for us to hear this fully rational idea: violence in pursuit of our goals will breed more violence in response.
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative

(7 comments | Leave a comment)


Date:June 9th, 2006 04:55 pm (UTC)
From media blogger Ron Franscell @http://underthenews.blogspot.com

Today, a plaque was placed at the site of Hitler's Berlin bunker -- and his death -- by German historians. Some people complained that neo-Nazis might now use the site as a shrine to one of the great criminals of all times. More than 60 years later, we worry about Hitler's symbolism.

Ironically, today we also hold the corpse of Musab al-Zarqawi. Presuming we will not desecrate him any further than dropping two 500-pound bombs on him, how does one dispose of the body of terrorism's great symbols? If you give him back to his people his symbolism will transcend his mortal coil. If you toss him in a dumpster, it doesn't say much about who we are.

What should be done with a monster's corpse?
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Date:June 9th, 2006 05:02 pm (UTC)
This is along the lines of what I thinking about yesterday myself. I felt no joy or relief or sense of "victory" in hearing that this guy had been killed. An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind and all that.
[User Picture]
Date:June 9th, 2006 06:11 pm (UTC)

Each to his own

My first thought was that al-Zarqawi won't be chopping off any heads anymore, and am surprised to find that there are folks who either don't think that's a good thing, or discuss the issue without either saying or implying that that's a good thing.

"...violence in pursuit of our goals will breed more violence in response." Will? Are you sure? I tried to check with the Imperial Japanese General Staff -- as well as their Reich counterparts -- but they're apparently out of the violence business; calls not returned. I'm pretty sure that we killed more than a few of their countrymen, once upon a time, but the matter of further violence from Reich or Empire was pretty thoroughly settled.

Hmmmm... what did turn the remarkably violent Assassins into the quasi-pacifist Sufis?

In reading over Michael Berg's transcript, I was impressed by how he's lost any sense of proportion. "Well, you know, I'm not saying Saddam Hussein was a good man, but he's no worse than George Bush."

Pretty much says it all.
[User Picture]
Date:June 10th, 2006 07:53 am (UTC)

Re: Each to his own

I feel pretty confidant that pursuing our goals in the Middle East will result in more violence against us. Your counter-examples from WWII are straw men; the type of organizations we're fighting are not tied to military command structures the way those were. We cannot destroy them without committing genocide. Each child of a parent killed is a potential combatant.

(I don't know enough about the Assassin/Sufi connection to comment, but I assume it is about as relevant.)
[User Picture]
Date:June 11th, 2006 05:34 pm (UTC)

Re: Each to his own

"Will? Are you sure? "

From the BBC today: Al-Qaeda in Iraq will launch "major attacks" to avenge the death of leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a web statement thought to be from the group has said.
[User Picture]
Date:June 11th, 2006 07:40 pm (UTC)

Re: Each to his own

And that would differ from their intentions/announcements prior to Zarqawi being flattened in what way?
[User Picture]
Date:June 10th, 2006 03:02 pm (UTC)
what a wise man. Through his pain, he hold fast in his wisdom.

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