Man Without Qualities

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Oddly Coy

I'm not exactly sure why the stories about Nick Berg are being so coy about his ethnicity. This one and this one and this one and this one and this one and this one don't even mention it. And this one is oddly coy: Nicholas Berg, the American who was filmed being beheaded, had been arrested by Iraqi police earlier and held on suspicion of being a spy because he had a Jewish name and an Israeli stamp in his passport, it has emerged. ... "He said: 'They arrested me because I had a Jewish last name and an Israeli stamp in my passport.' Then the Iraqi police put him with the US military because they thought he was a spy. .... In the Arab world, any indication that someone is a Jew or has links with Israel can be potentially fatal ...

But Nick Berg's ethnicity is no mystery at all:

Berg's father said his son was a practicing Jew and that "there's a better chance than not" that his captors knew it. "If there was any doubt that they were going to kill him that probably clinched it, I'm guessing," he said.

So Nick Berg was jewish and Nick Berg's father, at least, suspects that the lunatics who killed his son knew that and were motivated in part by anti-semitism - and what Nick's father suspects makes a lot of sense. Nick's earlier incarceration may also have been tied to his ethnicity. That's all significant. That all matters. Why be obscure on the point?

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