Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Is Everybody Going To Get Burned???

Maybe I'm just a simpleton, but it seams to me that when you fight fire with fire, everybody's' going to get burned in the end.
I just read a recent news post about Nick Berg, an independent American contractor who's body was found in Baghdad. Accompanying the story was a video clip showing a group of Radical Islamic Militants (I'm not sure if that's the correct term, but it doesn't really matter) reading a statement regarding the mis-treatment of Iraqi prisoners in Abu Ghraib prison and how he was being executed as revenge for what had happened there. The commentator translating then noted that the American Contractor was offered in a prisoner exchange, which was declined by the U.S. Interests (again, I'm not sure if that's the correct term, but it doesn't really matter). It is at this point that the man reading the statement pulls a long knife and the tape ends. We are told that Nicks' head is then pulled to the side and he beheaded in front of the camera.
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O.K., first off let me state that what happened to this poor guy was really, really, really messed up. It is an atrocity as well as a stupid and ignorant way of making a statement. It's equal to the brutality that has happened to Iraqis at the hands of high ranking military officials and private contractors (i.e. Americas Corporate Interests). Tragically I think that is why it was done, as a last effort to make a statement. The message was that if you're going to commit such atrocities to our people, our Fathers, Mothers, Brothers and Sisters, and then refuse to take responsibility for your actions while pointing fingers and blaming others and refuse to negotiate an equitable exchange of human life and dignity,...then we will have no choice but to do the same to you and yours.
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Before going any further, I'd like to address the timeline of events and how they have been portrayed. If this poor guy was first offered in exchange for Iraqi prisoners, then I fail to see "Revenge" as being the primary motivation for his abduction and execution. If anything, in their eyes it may have been the only available option left. Also, it should be noted that he was an independent American contractor and not a part of the "Big Business" interests, such as Haliburton, Blackwater Security, etc., who are hiring and sending people to the region. Now I could be wrong, but the impression I got was that he was a sub-contractor who went to Iraq in the hopes of securing employment, probably cause there wasn't really much work in his home town and running the risk of being killed at any moment was a better choice than slowly sinking into poverty, misery and despair while struggling to make ends meet in our sinking economy. It's "Big Business" that holds the contracts and they make the "Big Bucks", but the crumbs they're offering American workers in Iraq are a lot bigger than the crumbs they're offering the same workers back in the States. He had to be there for a reason, and i'm sure it had to be a pretty good one to risk his life over.
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Getting back to what has happened and the way it was carried out.....Unfortunately, it's those types of horrendous actions that cause the message to be obscured by the messenger. Americans can't get past what they see and actions of atrocity against us only strengthen our resolve to fight. It gives Americans an excuse to downplay or even excuse their own misguided actions (we're not a people who tend to take things in context) which will just further infuriate the Arab World. Why are so many people so eager to throw more fuel on this fire? It will only grow and consume the souls of those that get in its' path, regardless of guilt or innocence, right or wrong. It will burn in the minds of people and cause what's left of ones humanity to evaporate. I can only hope that somewhere in this world there will be left an Oasis unpoluted by the dark ashes of war.