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By Frank Salvato
web posted June 12, 2006

News out of Iraq heralded the demise of arguably one of the most vicious terrorists the world has ever known, Abu Musab al Zarqawi, leader of al-Qaida in Iraq. It wasn't so much the number of innocent lives he took, although that number is substantial, instead it was the method by which he took them, beheadings, directed suicide bombings and the use of improvised explosive devices. Zarqawi is dead and the world is a better and perhaps a safer place because of that. Of course you wouldn't know that by listening to Michael Berg.

Michael BergMichael Berg, you will remember, is the father of one of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's victims, Nicholas Berg. The last time we saw the two of them together it was on a crudely produced propaganda video released by al-Qaida in Iraq in which Zarqawi was sawing Berg's head off with a dull blade. Ironically, upon hearing the news of his son's slaughter, Berg's father collapsed to the ground sobbing and blamed President Bush for Zarqawi's actions.

Hearing the news of Zarqawi's death, Michael Berg said, "I don't think that Zarqawi is himself responsible for the killings of hundreds of thousands of people in Iraq, I think George Bush is."

He went on to suppose the president's complicity in the alleged "torture" of the terrorists at Abu Ghraib by saying, "Yeah, like George Bush didn't OK the torture and death and rape of people in the Abu Ghraib prison for which my son was killed in retaliation?"

As for Zarqawi, the man who sawed his son's head off and who attempted to start a civil war based on religious zealotry, Berg said, "restorative justice [rehabilitation and community service] could have transformed Zarqawi" in to a decent human being.

Recently, Ann Coulter was bashed by just about everyone for identifying the cheap and tawdry tactic employed by the agenda-driven, progressive-left of literally using "victim spokespeople" to champion their arguments in an effort to create an unassailable source for their ideological arguments and in hopes of stifling debate. Personally, I thank Ms. Coulter for "cracking the seal" on this issue as I intend fully to follow her through the door.

Michael Berg is an ignoramus.

While it is tragic that he outlived his son and that his son was butchered by an animalistic sociopath, Berg has used his son's death to advance his anti-war ideology. While his loss may qualify him as a useful member of the anti-war movement, it hardly mandates his opinion in the debate on the war against radical Islamic terrorists as legitimate, valid or learned.

To suggest that "restorative justice" – a failed theory which advocates the foolish notion that the penal system can take conscienceless, intractably violent, anti-social criminals and ‘rehabilitate' them – would have somehow miraculously been able to "rehabilitate" Abu Musab al Zarqawi is akin to suggesting that Hitler, Genghis Kahn, Pol Pot and Josef Stalin could have been "rehabilitated." It's an absurd, ignorant notion, although the thought of Hitler doing community service in a Kibbutz is amusing.

Such is the mentality of the anti-war, progressive-left. Believing that a radical Islamist terrorist who rose to the level of heading-up the most lethal arm of the al-Qaida network, that a man with so much innocent blood on his hands – literally – could be rehabilitated through the use of "restorative justice" is worse than naïve, it is shear stupidity. Couple that with the support of an anti-Bush/anti-war mainstream media and opportunistic progressive-left politicians in Washington, DC and the results conjure up the possibility of Iraq suffering the same disastrous events, the same genocide, that befell the innocent people of South Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos facilitated by our "progressively" inclined "peace with honor" pull-out.

As our military, the Iraqi people and freedom loving people all over the world celebrate the abrupt and explosive departure of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi from this earth it is imperative that we not mistake having won a battle with having won the war. Radical Islamists have invaded Somalia, capturing control of its capitol, Mogadishu. Al-Qaida is making headway in South America and has firmly planted itself in the South Pacific and Africa. And as the recent arrests of terrorists in Canada have proven, terrorists are very close to the United States, perhaps inside our borders, and definitely too much of a threat for us to even entertain the idea of ‘restorative justice' which is to date, the most ridiculous idea to come out of anti-war zealotry.

This war against radical Islamist terrorists is very real and very serious. We cannot allow those who prescribe to any kind of "containment" or rehabilitative theories to infiltrate the ranks of those who call the shots in this world war. To allow those who advocate the use of terrorism, barbarity and slaughter safe haven in any part of the world, free from confrontation, is to be complicit in our own demise. Make no mistake; the "rabid dog" of radical Islamist terrorism has every intention of following us home.

With that in mind we should acknowledge the good news that is coming out of Iraq and celebrate a battle victory. I can only hope Zarqawi is in a place where he is starting to understand that the only virgin in the immediate vicinity is he, and that Satan is thinking he's looking pretty attractive.

Frank Salvato is the managing editor for The New Media Journal. He serves at the Executive Director of the Basics Project, a non-profit, non-partisan, 501(C)(3) research and education project. His pieces are regularly featured in over 100 publications both nationally and internationally. He has appeared on The O'Reilly Factor, and is a regular guest on The Right Balance with Greg Allen on the Accent Radio Network, as well as an occasional guest on numerous radio shows coast to coast. He recently partnered in producing the first-ever symposium on the threat of radical Islamist terrorism in Washington, DC. His pieces have been recognized by the Japan Center for Conflict. He can be contacted at oped@newmediajournal.us Copyright © 2006 Frank Salvato

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