Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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The Berg Video

Lt. Hunt, a Ranger here at Bernstein, told me yesterday that he has a copy of the Berg video, which he watched with one of the interpreters. He confirmed what I had previously heard: the blade was dull, and the beheading is therefore extraordinarly graphic. He claimed that it took about a minute for the masked man--who is believed to be Zarqawi--to completely sever the head, and that Berg was alive and screaming for about half of that time.

Discussions - 4 Comments

Alt: What is your point/purpose in posting this?

The post is simply intended to convey the content of the video, which has been widely disseminated in this region. It is also to confirm reports that the execution was particularly ghastly: Beheading is bad, but beheading with a dull blade is particularly craven. Perhaps readers already knew these details from the news coverage, but the reports I had gotten here were not a bit opaque on the details. I have argued against the media reveling in gore by posting images of say the Fallujah contractors on the front page, but I have never objected to offering the facts of horrific incidents in text so that the nature of the incidents can be understood.

All of that would seem to be eminently obvious from the post. Now I will return the favor: what was the point/purpose of your comment?

I didn’t make a comment, Robert. I asked you a question. As far as the video is concerned, there are really no words to describe atrocities and what they mean to the victims. But I think it’s sick to use the suffering of others for political purposes as many conservatives have done here and elsewhere.

Frank (I do love that we have become so personal that we are on a first name basis), your question was in the comment section--so I don’t think it is a strong semantic point to object that it was a question. Furthermore, your question appeared designed to convey a message more than to ask a question--the very message that you made in "Comment" 3. As for the use of the horrific act for political purposes, you’ll note that unlike the much of the media, I drew no political conclusions from the facts, other than to say that the act was craven (which goes to the nature of the act and not the question of what should be done). I left it to the readers to draw their own political conclusions--and I have no doubt that some readers will reach a conclusion different than my own, which I nonetheless did not write. Thank you for your comment.

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