- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 13, 2004

If you have not yet seen the video of Nicholas Berg’s beheading, you have not fully experienced the passions of the nation’s enemies nor, perhaps, your own patriotic passion for victory. It is a horrific event, but one from which Americans should not avert their eyes.

The message of the video, titled “Abu Musab al-Zarqawi shown slaughtering an American,” is unmistakable. Zarqawi is a top al Qaeda operative. He and his associates, hidden behind black hoods, show neither mercy nor remorse as they destroy an innocent American. Their shouts of “religious” ecstasy almost drown out Mr.Berg’s screams.

Yet as of late, the media’s attention on Iraq has largely been focused on freedom’s falterings. If a picture is worth a thousand words, networks have wasted millions of words showing the misbehavior of certain members of the military police. No one doubts that the abuses at Abu Ghraib should not be countenanced, but members of the media have become myopic on the matter. On Wednesday night, “60 Minutes II” aired a video tour of the prison. Photographs seem to appear on cable newscasts every 60 seconds.

Far fewer images have been aired of the beheading of Mr. Berg. While it is understandable that neither newspapers nor networks wish to show such shocking images (this newspaper did not), patriotic Americans can inform themselves of the minds — and mindsets — and methods of our enemies.

Images of the war on terror are shocking, as much for the brutality of the actions as for the pure hatred they display: The beheading of Mr. Berg; the beheading of Daniel Pearl; the crashing of United Airlines Flight 175 into the south tower of World Trade Center. Those are bone-chilling reminders of what is at stake. As British Prime Minister Tony Blair stated in his speech before the House of Commons in March 2003: “Let us recall: What was shocking about 11 September was not just the slaughter of the innocent; but the knowledge that had the terrorists been able to, there would have been not 3,000 innocent dead, but 30,000 or 300,000, and the more the suffering, the greater the terrorists’ rejoicing.”Terrorists are attempting to acquire weapons of mass destruction. If they get them they will try to use them. Their brutal slaying of a single American with a knife is a demonstration of what they are eager and planning to do to millions of innocent Americans with such weapons.

Americans can expect no mercy from such Islamo-fascists. Against such enemies, the only hope of victory lies in an unwavering resolve, constant vigilance and aggressive action.

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