Friday, May 14, 2004

Politicizing a Death

I have been through my share of deaths in the family in the last few
years, thank you very much. I don't have to imagine what it is like to
lose a young member of your family, I have been through it. I have
seen the pain in mother's hearts that never ever stops. I am among
those who shamefully and secretly thank God it was not one of my
children and renew my most fervent prayers to that same God to look out
for my children. I would hate to have the last few hours of their
enormously more peaceful deaths broadcast over the television or radio.
Having said all of that, sometimes things become political whether we
want them to or not. Al Qaeda made Nicholas Berg's death political.
And now Berg's father has made it more political.

He blames, not the people who actually wielded the knife, nor the
people who fund and support them, no he blames the people who are
trying to find them and put them away where they cannot harm others
again. It is crazy thinking. It is thinking that if only you had not
stopped to buy a newspaper then you wouldn't have been there when the
bomb exploded. People do that when someone they love is snatched from
them at such an early age.

But since it has been made political I cannot help but issue the kind
of warnings my grandfather used to issue to me. My grandfather's
warnings involved more mundane things-- don't go to the beach without
sunscreen, Jean Harlow died from a sunburn. Put a bandaid on that
blister, Calvin Coolidge's son died from a blister on his foot. So
here is the warning: BE AWARE of who the enemy is. They are murderers
who want us all dead. Don't trust an Arab or a Muslim until you KNOW
they are not from Al Qaeda. The Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah and their
supporters and followers are people who mount attacks from ambulances
because they know we will not fire upon them. Like pedophilic sexual
predators, they are very good at figuring out how to gain your trust so
that they can do great harm to you. It is an unfortunate consequence
that you will end up being suspicious of good and kind people who mean
you no harm, but it is better than ending up dead. If the people of
whom you are unjustly suspicious are genuinely good and kind they will
forgive you when they understand the basis of your fear.

And by the way, Jean Harlow did die from kidney failure which was
precipitated by a third degree sunburn and Calvin Coolidge's son
apparently absorbed poisons from a dye used on his socks through a
blister on his heel.