Mr. Berg -- a very, very bad boy -- says that Our Wartime President is no better than that personification of evil, Saddam Hussein:
O'BRIEN: There's a theory that a struggle for democracy, you know...This, of course, is supposed to be the cue for patriotic outrage: imagine this traitorous wretch saying that Dubya's no better than Antichrist Saddam!
BERG: Democracy? Come on, you can't really believe that that's a democracy there when the people who are running the elections are holding guns. That's not democracy.
O'BRIEN: There's a theory that as they try to form some kind of government, that it's going to be brutal, it's going to be bloody, there's going to be loss, and that's the history of many countries -- and that's just what a lot of people pay for what they believe will be better than what they had under Saddam Hussein.
BERG: Well, you know, I'm not saying Saddam Hussein was a good man, but he's no worse than George Bush. Saddam Hussein didn't pull the trigger, didn't commit the rapes. Neither did George Bush. But both men are responsible for them under their reigns of terror.
I don't buy that. Iraq did not have al Qaeda in it. Al Qaeda supposedly killed my son.
Under Saddam Hussein, no al Qaeda. Under George Bush, al Qaeda.
Under Saddam Hussein, relative stability. Under George Bush, instability.
Under Saddam Hussein, about 30,000 deaths a year. Under George Bush, about 60,000 deaths a year. I don't get it. Why is it better to have George Bush the king of Iraq rather than Saddam Hussein?
Well, I don't exactly and completely agree with Mr. Berg about this. Bush probably is, in fact, a little better than the deposed-and-soon-to-be-executed Iraqi strongman. But to compare them is like arguing about which is more venomous: a hooded cobra or a coral snake. I'm sure they're not exactly equally venomous. One is very likely more dangerous than the other. But the difference is a matter of degree, not a fundamental difference in kind. Was John Wayne Gacy any "better" than Ted Bundy, or vice versa?
Not in any important way. They are varieties of the same creature.
Back to Michael Berg:
O'BRIEN: Mr. Berg, thank you for talking with us again. It's nice to have an opportunity to talk to you. Of course, I'm curious to know your reaction, as it is now confirmed that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the man who is widely credited and blamed for killing your son, Nicholas, is dead.I don't know that first thing about Mr. Berg -- what his spiritual ideas or position might be. He certainly talks like someone who is familiar with the words of Jesus, as recorded in Matthew 5:38-48:
MICHAEL BERG: Well, my reaction is I'm sorry whenever any human being dies. Zarqawi is a human being. He has a family who are reacting just as my family reacted when Nick was killed, and I feel bad for that ...
O'BRIEN: I have to say, sir, I'm surprised. I know how devastated you and your family were, frankly, when Nick was killed in such a horrible, and brutal and public way.
BERG: Well, you shouldn't be surprised, because I have never indicated anything but forgiveness and peace in any interview on the air.
You have heard that it was said, "An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth," but I say to you, do not resist him who is evil; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone wants to sue you, and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. And whoever shall force you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.As I say, I know nothing about Mr. Berg's beliefs, or lack thereof. I only wish that some of the evangelical cheerleaders for Bush and his wars, who've cackled so gleefully over another dead raghead, would display some similarity to -- some of the signature of -- my redeemer, as Mr. Berg has with his words. Instead, they sound like junior Outer Party members, screaming at Goldstein's image during the Five Minutes' Hate in 1984.
You have heard that it was said, "You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy." But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax-gatherers do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.