Message of forgiveness makes it through on CNN
Today I send you a link to an interview about al-Zarqawi's death with Michael Berg, from the June 8 edition of CNN's American Morning Berg's son, Nick, was slain by al-Zarqawi's forces.
While listening, I was stunned as the exchange continued. The interviewer, Soledad O'Brien, keeps asking him if he feels relieved -- if he feels closure -- now that his son's killer has been killed. Berg keeps speaking back, clearly and forthrightly -- saying that this death just continues the cycle of violence.
This is a compelling example of someone speaking through the media with a message of forgiveness.
p.s. You can read the transcript here: http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/06/08/berg.interview/index.html . Thanks to Wanda Joseph and Michael Waas Smith for tracking it down!
From Rick Polhamus (Pleasant Hill Church of the Brethren, Ohio):
The father of one of Zarqawi's most brutal murders- Nick Berg, (it has been attributed to him) was on American Morning today to give his reaction to the news that Zarqawi is dead.
Video -WMP Video -QT
It seemed that Soledad was not prepared to hear what Michael Berg had to say. (rough transcript)
Berg: Zarqawi is also a political figure and his death will reignite yet another wave of revenge-revenge is something I do not follow. I do not ask for against anybody and it's an endless cycle as long as people use violence to combat violence-ahh we will always have violence.
Soledad: I have to say sir I'm surprised, I know how devastated you were-your family was frankly when Nick was killed in such a horrible and brutal---
Berg: Well you shouldn't be surprised because I have never said anything but forgiveness and peace...
CBS News has more: "Nicholas Berg's father, a pacifist who is running for Delaware's U.S. House seat on the Green Party ticket, said al-Zarqawi's death is likely to foster anti-American resentment among al-Qaida members who feel they have nothing left to lose." He dismissed the notion that al-Zarqawi's death might bring him closure... read on
Berg: No Good in Al-Zarqawi's Death
Father of man believed to be beheaded by al-Zarqawi sees no good in terrorist leader's deathDOVER, Del., Jun. 8, 2006
By RANDALL CHASE Associated Press Writer
(AP) The father of Nicholas Berg, a U.S. contractor believed to have been beheaded by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Iraq, said Thursday that he doesn't see any good coming from al-Zarqawi's death.
"I see more death coming out of al-Zarqawi's death," Michael Berg told The Associated Press after learning a U.S. air strike had killed the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq.
Al-Zarqawi is believed to have beheaded two American civilians in 2004: Nicholas Berg, a 26-year-old businessman from West Chester, Pa., and Eugene Armstrong, a 52-year-old contractor from Hillsdale, Mich. Jack Hensley, a 48-year-old engineer from Marietta, Ga., was abducted at the same time as Armstrong and also killed.
Armstrong's family didn't want to discuss al-Zarqawi Thursday morning.
"An evil man is dead, and what more can you say?" said family spokeswoman Cyndi Armstrong, the wife of the slain contractor's cousin.
Nicholas Berg's father, a pacifist who is running for Delaware's U.S. House seat on the Green Party ticket, said al-Zarqawi's death is likely to foster anti-American resentment among al-Qaida members who feel they have nothing left to lose.
He dismissed the notion that al-Zarqawi's death might bring him closure.
"First of all, I'm not even certain that al-Zarqawi even killed my son," said Michael Berg, who doesn't believe the videotape of his son's execution or what he's been told by the FBI any more than he believes conspiracy theories suggesting his son was killed by the U.S. government.
"I think the news of the loss of any human being is a tragedy. I think al-Zarqawi's death is a double tragedy," he said. "His death will incite a new wave of revenge. George Bush and al-Zarqawi are two men who believe in revenge."
Berg said that while al-Zarqawi may have killed a couple of hundred people, Bush is responsible for 150,000 deaths.
Al-Zarqawi was killed by a U.S. airstrike in a remote area 30 miles northeast of Baghdad. Al-Qaida in Iraq confirmed his death and vowed to continue its "holy war," according to a statement posted on a Web site. The group has taken responsibility for numerous attacks on U.S. and Iraqi targets in the past few years.
"I think in this case justice has finally been served," said the Rev. Jerry Gladson, who had been Hensley's pastor at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of Marietta.
President Bush, speaking outside the White House Thursday morning, said al-Zarqawi's death was "a severe blow" to al-Qaida but the war on terror would continue.
"We have tough days ahead of us in Iraq that will require the continued patience of the American people," he said.
Associated Press writers David N. Goodman in Detroit and Don Schanche in Atlanta contributed to this report.