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Bird's Blog

Poetry, musings, observations, commentary, rants, confessions...and who knows what else!

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Location: San Francisco Bay Area

Teacher, writer, poet, grandmother, lover, wine-drinker, chocolate eater, beach comber, hiker, traveler, Giants fan, San Franciscan. All work on this blog is copyrighted material.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Berg and al-Zarqawi

I saw Michael Berg yesterday morning on the news. He is running for Congress as a Green in Delaware. The statement he made on national TV in response to the death of al-Zarqawi's death will no doubt ensure his defeat (though he didn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning the seat anyway). But I admire the man’s integrity in voicing his convictions without equivocation. I wish more “politicians” would do so.

According to the online post from CBS3 Philadelphia, Berg stated “I think the news of the loss of any human being is a tragedy. I think al-Zarqawi’s death is a double tragedy.” The article continues to quote Berg with “His death will incite a new wave of revenge. George Bush and al-Zarqawi are two men who believe in revenge.”

Of course, in the newscast I saw, the above statements didn’t quite sound so bald – as there was more explanatory language in between each idea. For a fuller text of Berg’s comments, see http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/06/08/berg.interview/index.html?eref=yahoo. These fuller remarks convey the true meaning behind Berg’s words – and demonstate even more the man’s integrity and honesty.

I admire Berg for his ability to feel compassion and denouce deathAnd I believe his assessment of Bush is accurate – in that I, like Berg, think Bush operates from revenge. But I cannot view al-Zarqawi’s death as a trajedy, nor do I feel for his family (as Berg stated he did on television – again – I admire the man’s integrity and compassion, but I share it not).

And yes, we may well see an increase in violence in Iraq as a result of this death though I do not think the threat of increased violence would have been a valid reason to leave al-Zarqawi alone (though I would have preferred he be captured).

Nor do I think the projected increase of violence can be laid at our doorstep for killing al-Zarqawi. To me, liberal, and apparently, quasi-pacificist that I am, while no death is to be celebrated, this death is not one to be mourned, nor one that is a trajedy.


Blogger Jack K. said...

bird, once again you hit the nail on the head. I must confess that I was pleased that al-Zarqawi was finally out of the picture. I may even have mentally uttered a loud Huzzah!

Then I got to thinking about it. Where did that put me? Was I any better than he? He, who puts the value of human life so low.

I had not heard of Berg's statement. Thanks for sharing it. The man does have integrity, at least with this statement. He has insured he will not be elected. Or, has he? Perhaps there will be enough folks who take a second thought of his comments and reassess their position.

Operating from revenge is not getting anyone anywhere. It is nothing but a negative view of life. You give out that negative revenge energy and what do you expect to get back?

Operating from a position of strength, does not mean you have to unleash the strength with impunity. I think we can see where that will get us. Perhaps we can wake up to the folly of our actions and begin to change.

Pogo was right when he said, "We have met the enemy and it is us." That can be changed.

June 09, 2006 1:19 PM  
Blogger The Flabbergasted Heathen said...

I do feel for the man's family...it's not their fault he decided to coordinate terrorist attacks and murder civillians.

June 09, 2006 2:38 PM  
Blogger Pete Bogs said...

flab - his family has called him a martyr, so screw them... beheadings are not cool, UNLESS someone has used "liberal" as a negative!

bird - integrity is what he's really about... quite a man... you are very right... I can't be so forgiving and I wasn't even involved... funny, he has that quality of "Christian compassion and forgiveness" (I realize he's Jewish) that so many actual Xtians lack... I wanted Zarqi's blood, but I am no Christian...

June 09, 2006 2:53 PM  
Blogger CROAK said...

Oh Bird. I just went off in Bogs blog about this very thing. Oh wish I had read yours first.
Thank the stars for you.
A sane voice.
A thinking, thinkers voice.
Thank you

June 09, 2006 7:10 PM  
Blogger The Flabbergasted Heathen said...

Bogs, I'm not shedding any tears for the man. He deserved what he got. I'm happy that his influance is no longer there. If we could have done it by sticking him in some labrinth for the next seventy years, I'd much rather have that.

June 10, 2006 12:27 PM  
Blogger Bird said...

jack - thoughtful commentary there on revenge and operating from a position of strength.

flab - i am glad you feel for the family - i wish i did - even if they approved of the man's actions and philosophy. it's a sad state of affairs all the way around. it's not that i actively don't feel for them - i just haven't considered them per se. but now i wonder what it would be like to be al-Zarqawi's daughter or son. What would it be like to be raised by such a man?

Bogs - you have a valid point back on your site - putting al-Z in prison could create an "excuse" for all kinds of havoc - but you know there's all kinds of havoc anyway. abd oh - by-the-way, don't forget that many of the basic tenents (tenents vs tenants - hahaha!) of christianity are from judaism, after all - christianity is just a outgrowth of judaism (i'm sure someone somewhere will take exception to that).

croak - i don't know as i would typify your comment over at bog's as "going off" - certainly your comment is passionate and clearly you were upset - but the comment reflects a thinking person.

June 10, 2006 1:43 PM  
Blogger CROAK said...

Putting him gaol would not have done anything but reduce him to a pathetic figure like Saddam. That is far more powerful than the show at his family's memorial of a martyr and a good Muslim. That is not good.
He will now be replaced by ten others.
And by the way he was from Jordan not Iraq so what does this do for the argument of staying in Iraq?

Bird you are too precious a thing to bother with Hellpig as you were by being bothered by Aunt Belle. Save you for us who need your clarity and thoughtfulness.

June 10, 2006 6:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He will now be replaced by ten others.

Well said. I was speculating on this as well and originally thought that we might see the resumption of gruesome,. televised acts of barbarism in as little as 3 to 4 months. Took 2 days, actually

June 11, 2006 9:52 AM  
Blogger K9 said...

/bark bark bark


and yet the hellpig and aunty belle bring the much needed counterpoint to many posts. bird doesnt shrink away from that and thats her strength. what's it to you control freak? peddler of the medusa meme? oh theres a very familiar vibe to you, "crank"

"Save you for us who need your clarity and thoughtfulness"??? could you be any more obsequious?
howl hahahaha!

i know who you are. Punk!


June 13, 2006 5:23 AM  
Blogger Bird said...

K9 - Oh you naughty dog you! Tsk, tsk, tsk. Name-calling again!

After so much battle with the Pig, who, among other things, has slung one low-to-the-belt bullshit name and false accusation at me after another, this bird is a bit weary of the name-calling and labeling.

But your point that my engagement with both is a strength is intriguing – because I haven’t seen it that way. I’ve seen it as stubborness and orneriness (sp).

I often wonder why I bother, why I keep engaging - at least with the Pig of late (I've given up on AB for a bit except on the front porch - we need a time out at the back porch).

But Dog, I'm really at my wit's end with the namecalling. Pig has quite thrown me over the deep end on that count. I’m sure you caught the action over at AB’s war post, and did you see the last round at Bog’s? A couple of posts ago I think.

However, I found common ground with the Pig just recently - though the swine didn’t acknowledge it.

June 13, 2006 9:31 AM  
Blogger Bird said...

btw - someone could interpret your comment as obsequious as well you know. :)

now, being a paranoid, nutjob liberal, i'm left to wonder if i'm being manipulated by all. ;)


June 13, 2006 9:33 AM  
Blogger Aunty Belle said...

Bird?? Youse had it wif' me? Why honey? I doan call folks names does I? (Not countin' sugar or honey or chile)

Hurtin' mah feelin's chile'.

Cain't we differ passionately wifout impughnin' the worth of the other?

June 13, 2006 12:18 PM  
Blogger Bird said...

AB, you are mis-interpreting my words.

Under no circumstances did I impinge your worth. I merely said I had "given up" on you and the front porch conversation - that we needed a break - or a "time out."

But as you know, I still visit the front porch - where passions do not run so high and civility is more the norm. It seems a place to build some common ground before going back to the fray.

How that becomes impinging your worth is beyond me.

June 13, 2006 4:17 PM  
Blogger Bird said...

head snaps for readers - there's a back porch (passions run high) and a front porch (normal discourse).

June 13, 2006 4:33 PM  
Blogger K9 said...

/bark bark bark

yes i am sucking up to you so that you and jae will flash your new uplifting brassieres my way!!


okay, now be fair. i only said "punk"...and er, "control freak" so don't be lumping me in with the hell pig

...thats not to dog him out though as i am fond of his blog identity. he's a good guy .....just add arrrrgggggh to his posts. for God's sake he's like a crusty sea captain! but did you see his mothers day greeting to all? big heart inside. and look now hes part of a looking out for da chilren site too so c'mon! like i said i like the mix of all of us up in here.(he doesnt need a defense so i have to stop this NOW)

but sincerely i think the debates in the commentary are some interesting reading.esp. at AB's. but now that i know you are weary of it i wont be so cavalier in finding amusement in it.

/suck suck suck

remember how we met?
"you dont approve of my approach?"


did ya miss me boyed?


June 13, 2006 4:38 PM  
Blogger Aunty Belle said...

Oh Bird Beauty, no--no sugar, I did not say you --you personally--impugned poor ole Aunty B...I meant to communicate that the blog-wide "we" should be able to have high octane exchanges wif'out degrading the other--disagree, oh yes, but not to degrade--I'se mightily anxious to have discussions that explore perspectives.

BTW, Aunt Pitty-Pat done had reduction surgery, down ter a D now and perky as a teenager. Guess "D"s is in, these days.

June 13, 2006 8:48 PM  
Blogger Bird said...

well dog, you are sucking up left and right. good dog!

and what a passionate defense of the pig. but you can be as cavalier as you like - i am sure that some of the exhanges on belle's back porch are quite entertaining - if i wasn't involved in 'em i'd probably chuckle and shake my head. actually - this could all make a heck of a book. hmmmmm...

ab - we'll explore each other's perspectives again some time. i almost commented on the pledge post -but decided against it - my view is too radical for your porch and i don't feel like arguing right now - at least - not a lot - hahahaha. i am bit busy doing nothing much right now. need the rest. (summer school starts next week.)

tell aunt pitty-pat she's part of the Double-D Babes club now. she can party with Jae and I on my balcony - but she should be forewarned - the dog will on the prowl.

June 13, 2006 9:05 PM  
Blogger CROAK said...

"Punk"- Howdyaknow that that was my nickname given to me by my parents.Calling me that reminds me of soft tender times and how I miss them. thanks K9.

June 13, 2006 10:23 PM  
Blogger talkytalk said...

K9 needs to be put back on his leash and led around at heel for awhile.
What is he frightened of to bark so nastily?

June 13, 2006 10:44 PM  
Blogger Reverend X said...

The man was evil, bad to the bone,
Would he have been if we left him alone?
A terrorist who coulldn't clear his own round.
A hunted guerilla who gained eighty pounds?
Wearin white nikes, brand new from the box?
Aint been any imports of sneakers or socks.
500 lbs bomb blew him all to heck?
ligature marks 'stead of burns on his neck?

Not cryin foul yet, give me half a chance.
By the way here's your Invitation to the Dance

June 14, 2006 5:48 AM  
Blogger Reverend X said...

OK, had to do the rhyme first. Now I'll give some reason to the seasoned in the breezin never freezin Blog veterans.
What the fuck you pussies worryin bout a little name callin? Any time helly resorts to a slur it is an acknowledgement of his defeat in the face of your argument. I almost wewnt out and had "liberal fuck" tattooed on my arm to honor the victories. Reminds me always that love and kindness will some day win out over hate and fear. "course there will be name callin, but sticks and stones... Words only hurt when chalked onto ordinance and dropped onto villages killing civilians, children, and every now and then, a guy who might have known a guy who was a terrorist. That is what is going on every day. Women die, children burn, Americans sit around discussing whether a statement was an insult or a slight. Helly is helly. If he gets under your skin just remember that it's not easy bein him. Must suck to never have sex without hearing "No daddy, stop that hurts!!" He did say pedophile help service and not pedophile stopper or deterrent, right?

June 14, 2006 6:08 AM  
Blogger K9 said...

/bark bark bark

howwwwwl. steaming hot revvy! you have been missed! rock on rev you know what time it is! if ya caint here it from the dog maybe from the good reverend???

croak? im so pleased!

talky talk? nasty? ive mellowed so much and earned my off leash status...at least in this nest (i think...)

boyed you got a live one here! just like old times


June 14, 2006 6:35 AM  
Blogger Bird said...


the “no daddy….” Comment made me wince.

And yes, I know, the use of that comment was a rhetorical strategy so I won’t quite bang you on the head as harshly as I normally would (and of course, Hell will be yelling out “hypocrite” at any moment – except he never comments on my blog – bet he’s lurking though – hey pig you out there?). But I interpret your use of the slur to make a point within the context of the discussion (about the nature of discourse); Hell often uses such tactics for an entirely different reason – to discredit a commenter and to distract from the discussion. But then, perhaps I am being to generous to you Rev, and I SHOULD bang you on the head. (Ooops- can’t do that either, I’m a pacifist – sort of.)

But words do indeed matter and we know it – why else would we blog? Words have power – they help shape our thinking (yes, we think before we have words, but words put shape to the thoughts and change the thoughts too) and they create cultural memes and groupthink and an enviornments which either enhance or inhibit the exhange of ideas. So it matters how we use them. And where.

Every discourse community has its conventions. The blogging community, relatively young, is developing its conventions as it goes along. And borrows and adapts conventions from other genres or venues, if you will – oh my, don’t I just sound so damn academic? Fuck!

What I deplore is that public debate in this country has boiled down to sweeping generalities and the sling of arrows. And I hate to see it blogland – it demeans us and distracts us from the real issues, from real discussion. And so many go along with it – they limit their thinking to it.

Maybe that’s in part because of the nature of the genre - who wants to scroll through long posts and comments – yet the bite-sized approach privileged in this venue lends itself to generalities and innuendo – easier to fit. But everyone knows I fight that too – damn – Bird is long-winded So scroll – the world isn’t easily encapsulated in 60 second sound bites and the size of a computer screen.

Note to all: there's no leash that can hold K9 - the dog chooses to stay on or off leash of his own accord.

June 14, 2006 7:56 AM  
Blogger Reverend X said...

Yes, I used it and the other slurs to make a point. You got it. Others would not have. I am not concerned with leading the blind to a better place. When the arrows fall they only hit the ones who let them hit. Separtes the wheat from the chafe. While they chafe and bite on both sides, remember that their problems are not real. Allow them to be kept busy and distracted while we attempt to fix the real problems. It is easier for us to let them play than to have them looking over our shoulders asking stupid questions and slowing us down. Exampleby poiht. Ann Coulter has always beeen an iritating tweaker. Now she is just a less popular but more famous tweaker. Her entire life, career and collection of attention grabbing quotes has never had any real effect on the upper 50% of us. But she is a great scarecrow with stick up her ass and the full attention of the lower 50%. Don't sweat the crazies running around the asylum. We are here to fix the asylum and it's real inhabitants.

June 14, 2006 8:16 AM  
Blogger CROAK said...

Right on Bird. Hang in there. Your wisdom is needed...obviously!

June 14, 2006 9:52 PM  

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