A video posted Tuesday on an al-Qaida-linked Web site showed the beheading of an American civilian in Iraq in what was said to be revenge for abuse of Iraqi prisoners.
The video showed five men wearing headscarves and black ski masks, standing over a bound man in an orange jumpsuit ? similar to a prisoner’s uniform. The man identified himself as Nick Berg, a U.S. civilian whose body was found Saturday near a highway overpass in Baghdad.
“My name is Nick Berg, my father’s name is Michael, my mother’s name is Suzanne,” the man said on the video. “I have a brother and sister, David and Sarah. I live in … Philadelphia.”
After reading a statement, the men were seen pulling the man to his side and putting a large knife to his neck. A scream sounded as the men cut his head off, shouting “Allahu akbar!” ? “God is great!” They then held the head up to the camera.
This barbaric behavior will have the same effect barbarism usually has: it will make civilized people around the world more determined than ever to exterminate al-Qaeda and its likeminded brethren.
Barbaric behavior doesn’t win wars, it just makes your enemies more dedicated to their cause. This is why it’s so important to eliminate the kind of barbarism exhibited by our own side at Abu Ghraib: because it just makes our enemies stronger. If we don’t purge it root and branch, we’ve as good as lost the war. In more ways than one.