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Dead Is Dead

Reported by Eleanor - June 30, 2004 -

Wold Blitzer on CNN (June 30, 5:15 pm ET), interviewed Michael Berg who is making the rounds of the networks this week. Nick Berg, the young man who was beheaded in Iraq, was Michael's son. Blitzer asked Berg if he is equating Americans in Iraq right now with the people who killed his son.

Blitzer's question was in response to Berg's attempt to get him to be "sensitive to the desires of the people of Iraq." Berg said, "They don't want us there. To them, our presence is like having the men who killed my son living across the street."

Berg continued with, "Thousands have died. Everyone in Iraq has lost someone. There were no al Qaeda before we got there."

When Blitzer asked if our presence there was equivalent, Berg replied, "I'm not saying there's equivalency, but to the victims and the victims' families, dead is dead."

Blitzer had no further response, other than to say that tomorrow he has a guest with a different perspective.

Comment: Michael Berg is being heard because of who he is. Hopefully, he can get the American people to separate in their minds the Iraqi people from the jihadists. The ordinary Iraqi is not our enemy, at least not yet, and thousands of them have died. We need to try harder to understand their grief as equivalent to our own. Hearts and minds can be won only with hearts and minds, not guns and knives.