From outside one will always triumphantly impress theories upon the world and then fall straight into the ditch one has dug, but only from inside will one keep oneself and the world quiet and true. /FK (Contact: TBONotebooks at fastmail.fm. The Blue Octavo Notebooks welcomes mail, although we cannot guarantee a response. Your email may be posted in part on The Blue Octavo Notebooks unless otherwise requested.) Please enjoy the notebook entries, and thanks for reading.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Sarah Whalen, one of the resident geniuses over at Arab News, has this to say about the savage beheading of Nick Berg:

When arrested, Berg was carrying a laptop, cash, his Israel-stamped passport, a Qur’an, and “anti-Semitic literature” in Arabic — a language that Berg could neither read, nor write, nor speak.

Were these books for Berg’s erudition? Or for planting at the scene of some catastrophe, as the Mossad is sometimes accused of doing by anti-Zionist groups to falsely implicate Muslims?

When released, Berg spurned US consular officials’ offers of money, plane ticket, and official airport escort. One cryptically remarked: Berg “didn’t want us. He said, ‘You don’t understand these people like I do. You’re here for a reason and so am I.’”

What reason? Dead men don’t talk. But their friends do. Berg’s friends said Iraqi authorities suspected he was “an Israeli spy.”

According to TIME magazine, Berg was rumored to work “for a telecom firm with ties to Israel.”

How involved is Israel in Iraq?

Answer first questions first, before avenging Berg.

Imagine, indeed. But let’s look at that Time magazine quote:

By the time he was picked up by Iraqi police at a Mosul checkpoint in March, rumors circulated among his associates that Berg, who was Jewish, was working for a telecom firm with ties to Israel, according to a security contractor in Iraq.

So it’s not so much according to TIME magazine, Sarah, but according to a single unnamed contractor. Keep trying, darling.

Oh, and notice Sarah’s charming characterization of Berg as “a neocon ‘believer.’” Whatever that’s supposed to mean, I’m sure it will come as news to his father.

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