Jewish World Review May 14, 2004 /23 Iyar, 5764

Joel C. Rosenberg

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The truth about Nick Berg's murder | The beheading of Nick Berg was the act of the demon possessed. The act of blood-thirsty terrorists. The act of radical Islamic jihadists.

How dare his father blame the very men leading the war against such monsters.

"My son died for the sins of George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld," Michael Berg said Thursday in an interview with radio station KYW-AM. "This administration did this."

I grieve and pray for this man and his family. No one should have to suffer what they are suffering now. Hearing the news that your son has been butchered by terrorists is bad enough. Seeing and hearing the butchery on the Internet is more than any parent should have to bear.

But Mr. Berg's outrage at the Bush administration is both misguided and offensive.

Nick Berg didn't die because President Bush sent military forces into Iraq. President Bush sent military forces into Iraq because innocent people like Nick Berg were dying every day. And many more would have died if Saddam Hussein had been allowed to continue his reign of terror unchecked.

Back in the spring of 2001 — before 9/11 — when I was working on my first novel, The Last Jihad, I wrote a scene in which a group of Saddam Hussein loyalists behead an entire family, while the mother is forced to watch. Then she, too, is beheaded, after which the Iraqis sit down for a dinner of roasted lamb, couscous and baklava. (page 81 of the paperback edition)

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My wife was disgusted by the scene when she read the initial manuscript. She insisted that I take it out. "No one is that barbaric," she told me. "It's not believable."

But that was the whole point of THE LAST JIHAD — to take readers into the world of Saddam Hussein and his loyalists, a world of evil incarnate.

President Bush understands the stakes were up against. So does Secretary Rumsfeld. They understand that if we do not win this war on terror in Iraq and Afghanistan that these butchers are coming here.

What's disturbing is how few people truly understand the nature and threat of evil posed by radical Islam.

Yet to misunderstand the nature of evil is to risk being blindsided by it.

We were blindsided by evil on 9/11.

Perhaps Nick Berg and his family were blindsided by an evil they didn't fully appreciate.

We dare not make the same deadly mistake.

JWR contributor Joel C. Rosenberg is the New York Times best-selling author of The Last Jihad and The Last Days and a former senior aide to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Deputy Prime Minister Natan Sharansky. Comment by clicking here.


© 2004, Joel C. Rosenberg