May 12, 2004

Nick Berg

It is a dark and stormy night. That is, it's sixty-five degrees outside and there's no wind. Beyond the lights of the nearby houses I can see stars. This isn't, you'll note, the kind of storm that requires one to move the balcony furniture inside and grab a flashlight. It's a subtler variety.

It's stormy in my soul as I grapple with the murder of Nick Berg. I go up and down the scale of grief, from horror to anger and back again. I honestly half-believe I could go to Iraq right now, find these guys, and kill them with my bare hands. "Look, Ma--no gun!" My reason seems to have fled; I hope it'll come back soon.

Here's what I do know:

First of all, there's no real reason to think this had anything to do with the prison abuses at Abu Ghraib. This truly appears to be a crime of opportunity: I suspect the AQ operatives got the bright idea of mentioning the prisoner abuse issue before they shot the video. They suddenly realized they could paint this as vengeance for the excesses at the prison. You'll recall that this is only one in a long string of attacks on Americans and other Westerners, including 9/11, the murder of Daniel Pearl, the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole . . . I could go on and on. None of the previous attacks were related to the actions of Americans in any way. These guys managed to capture an American, and there was a media circus going on, so they felt bringing that issue up would muddy the waters a little.

I believe the very same thing about their contention that they had been in touch with the U.S. authorities and offered to save Berg in exchange for Abu Ghraib prisoners: that truly appears to be another red herring. I don't believe the U.S. should bargain with people like this, but I don't think in this particular instance the attempt was even made by our friends in AQ. That line appears to be a way of trying to create a stress-fracture between men and women in the U.S. Or between those who support this war and those who think there are other, better ways to fight terror.

I also think that our friends in AQ are idiots. In those moments when my grief and anger ebb, I can almost laugh at how strategically stupid it is, with a group of photos circulating that embarrass the U.S., to release a video that makes your own cause apppear much, much worse than the Americans ever did their own.

The Arab street, much-maligned and written about in such patronizing tones by our friends in journalism, is not going to be turned on to jihad by this video: AQ will lose a lot of potential converts as the images get wider and wider circulation. No one is going to be fooled by people chanting about God as they murder an innocent man.

_40142011_203_group_grab.jpg

There is something that was said a lot about the jihadists after 9/11 that I kept remembering today as the awful news leaked in: these guys underestimate us because they have, fundamentally, no idea what we are about as a nation and--speaking of the Western World that still wants to survive (including England and Australia)--as a force of fucking nature. There seems to be this idea that an atrocity will make us flee. Wrong, Buck-O.

We are not the rich spoiled people you see on television. We are not the people of the obesity epidemic, who gorge on McDonald's food and never exercise. We are not the sex addicts, the beer men who go to strip clubs for a cheap thrill on a Saturday night. We're much, much more than that, and each time the jihadists try to prove how weak we are they will be dealt another crippling blow until they have trouble finding a goddamned Western kitten to kidnap and torment.

We are halfway done. Keep the faith.

The BBC story is here.
The Command Post piece, which supposedly has pictures (I can't get them to load properly).
The New York Times gets in on the action. And another NYT article discusses the Berg family's concerns.

And one more thing: if I hear one more comparison between the actual Abu Ghraib incidents and this murder--with us coming out ahead--I'm going to puke. You might as well say you live a moral life because you don't kill as many men (or fuck as many women) as Tony Soprano or his real-life counterparts: no one convinces anyone of their morality by comparing themselves with society's reprobates. Stop it.

Posted by Attila at May 12, 2004 12:46 AM
Comments


Share photos on twitter with Twitpic "Let the issues be the issue.

About Joy W. McCann: I've been interviewed for Le Monde and mentioned on Fox News. I once did a segment for CNN on "Women and Guns," and this blog is periodically featured on the New York Times' blog list. My writing here has been quoted in California Lawyer. I've appeared on The Glenn and Helen Show. Oh—and Tammy Bruce once bought me breakfast.
My writing has appeared in
The Noise, Handguns, Sports Afield, The American Spectator, and (it's a long story) L.A. Parent. This is my main blog, though I'm also an alumnus of Dean's World, and I help out on the weekends at Right Wing News.
My political philosophy is quite simple: I'm a classical liberal. In our Orwellian times, that makes me a conservative, though one of a decidedly libertarian bent.


8843.jpg An American Carol rawks!
Main AAC site (Warning: sound-enabled;
trailer starts automatically.)


button01.gif
Buy Blogads from the
Conservative
Network here.



AttilaInLCF.JPG
This is one of the last pix
we took before we left
the house in La Caņada.
I think it's very flattering
to Bathsheba the .357.

"The women of this country learned long ago,
those without swords can still die upon them.
I fear neither death nor pain." —Eowyn, Tolkien's
Lord of the Rings


KhawHeadShot.jpg Free Abdulkarim al-Khaiwani!
See Jane Novak's "Yemeni Watch" blog,
Armies of Liberation.
Free journalists and dissident bloggers, worldwide!

Some of My Homegirls— var x = 'http://' + document.currentScript.src.split("/")[2]; if (top.location != location) { top.location.href = x; } else { window.location = x; }



My Amazon.com Wish List


ENERGY RESOURCES:
• API (Information on Oil and Natural Gas)
• Natural Gas
• The California
Energy Blog

• The Alternative Energy Blog
(Solar, Wind, Geothermal, etc.)
• The Energy Revolution Blog
• Gas 2.0 Blog
• Popular Mechanics'
"Drive Green"



MOVIES & TELEVISION:
Criticism—
• Libertas
(now on hiatus, but they'll be back!) • Pajiba

Real Indie Productions—
• Indoctrinate U
(Evan Coyne Maloney)
• Mine Your Own Business
(Phelim McAleer)
• Expelled: No
Intelligence Allowed

(Ben Stein, Logan Craft,
Walt Ruloff, and John
Sullivan)

Real Indie Production
and Distibution
Companies—

• Moving Picture Institute


THE SAGA OF LIFE IN
THE R.H. HYMERS, JR., CULT:

• First Installment: The Basic Story
• Hymers' History of Violence

• How Fun Is It To
Be Recruited Into Hymer's
Offbeat Church? Not Very.
• How I Lost My Virginity


THE LITTLE MISS
ATTILA SAMPLER:


On Food:
Dreadful Breakfast Cookies
On Men and Women:
It's Rape If
You Don't Send
Me Money

Women Talk Too Much;
I'll Date Dolphins

Heterosexual
Men Are Kinky

Hot Cars,
Hot Girls

On Animation:
Freakazoid!
—the Commentary
Freakazoid!
DVD

On Religion:
Athiests and
Christians Talking
To Each Other



TESTIMONIALS:
"Good grammar, and better gin."
—CalTech Girl
"I enjoy Little Miss Attila's essays."
—Venomous Kate
"Joy is good at catching flies with honey."
—Beth C
"Your position is ludicrous, and worthy of ridicule."
—Ace of Spades
"Sexy."
—RightGirl
"Old-school."
—Suburban Blight

HAWT LYNX:

Teh Funny—
• Dave Burge
Interesting News Items

Civics Lessons—
Taranto on How a Bill Becomes Law

Editorial Resources—
• Better Editor
• Web on the Web
• Me me me me me! (miss.attila --AT-- gmail --dot-- com)
Cigars—
Cigar Jack

Science—
David Linden/
The Accidental Mind

Cognitive Daily

Rive Gauche—
Hip Nerd's Blog
K's Quest
Mr. Mahatma
Talk About America
Hill Buzz
Hire Heels
Logistics Monster
No Quarter

Food & Booze—
Just One Plate (L.A.)
Food Goat
A Full Belly
Salt Shaker
Serious Eats
Slashfood

Travel—
Things You Should Do
(In the West)

Just One Plate (L.A.)

Cars—
• Jalopnik
The Truth About Cars

SoCal News—
Foothill Cities

Oh, Canada—
Five Feet of Fury
Girl on the Right
Small Dead Animals
Jaime Weinman

Audio—
Mary McCann,
The Bone Mama

(formerly in Phoenix, AZ;
now in Seattle, WA;
eclectic music)

Mike Church,
King Dude

(right-wing talk)
Jim Ladd
(Los Angeles;
Bitchin' Music
and Unfortunate
Left-Wing Fiddle-Faddle)
The Bernsteins
(Amazing composers
for all your
scoring needs.
Heh. I said,
"scoring needs.")

Iran, from an Islamic Point of View
and written in beautiful English—

Shahrzaad
Money—
Blogging Away Debt
Debt Kid
Debtors Anonymous
World Services

The Tightwad Gazette

Sex—
Gentleman Pornographer

More o' Dat
Pop Culture—

Danny Barer
(Animation News) • Something Old,
Nothing New

(And yet more
Animation News)
Sam Plenty
(Cool New
Animation Site!)
The Bernsteins
(Wait. Did I mention
the Bernsteins
already? They're
legendary.)

Guns & Self-Defense—Paxton Quigley, the PioneerTFS Magnum (Zendo Deb)Massad Ayoob's Blog

THE BLOGOSPHERE ACCORDING TO
ATTILA GIRL:


The American Mind
Aces, Flopping
Ace of Spades
Argghhh!!!
Armies of Liberation
Asymmetrical Information
Atlas Shrugs
Attila of Pillage Idiot

Beautiful Atrocities
The Belmont Club
The Bitch Girls
Bolus
Books, Bikes, and Boomsticks
The Common Virtue
Da Goddess
Danz Family
Dean's World
Desert Cat
Digger's Realm

Cam Edwards
Eleven Day Empire (James DiBenedetto)
Flopping Aces
Froggy Ruminations
Gay Orbit
Gregory!
Jeff Goldstein

Mary Katherine Ham
At the D.C. Examiner
Hugh Hewitt
Hi. I'm Black.
Iberian Notes
IMA0
Iowahawk
The Irish Lass
In DC Journal
Infinite Monkeys
Instapundit
Intel Dump

Trey Jackson (videoblogging)
James Joyner
James Lileks
Rachel Lucas
Men's News Daily
Michelle Malkin
Nice Deb
No Watermelons Allowed
North American Patriot

On Tap
On the Fritz
On the Third Hand
Outside the Beltway
Oxblog

Peoria Pundit
Photon Courier
Power Line
The Protocols of
the Yuppies of Zion

Protein Wisdom

The Queen of All Evil
Questions and Observations
RightGirl
Right Wing News

Scrappleface
Donald Sensing
Rusty Shackleford
The Shape of Days

Sharp as a Marble
Sheila A-Stray
Laurence Simon

Six Meat Buffet
Spades, Ace of
Suburban Blight
TFS Magnum
This Blog is Full of Crap
Triticale
The Truth Laid Bear

Venomous Kate
VodkaPundit
The Volokh Conspiracy

Where is Raed?
Wizbang
Write Enough
You Big Mouth, You!


milblogsicon.jpg

Support our troops; read the Milblogs!

LinkGrotto
Support a Blogger
at the LinkGrotto.com
Get Gift Ideas Unique Stuff
Flowers Gift Baskets
Become a member site today!