May 13, 2004

Beacons of Light

Sometimes it is hard to hold on to a sense of optimism about the world, especially when it seems the war in Iraq has illuminated the evil that lurks in our souls. Yet even now, there are those that show that we can choose something different than hate, something that speaks to our capacity for good and something that lets us know there is still hope. Today, I found a post on the American Street that reminded me of this.

We can blame the death of Nick Berg on anyone we want, it seems. Al Qaeda is an easy one, though the terrorist in question, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, was at best only a sometime ally of Osama bin Laden, not full-blown al Qaeda. CBS is another easy target, one that conservatives have not neglected, for airing photos of Abu Ghraib torture. We can blame the Abu Ghraib culprits. Or the Iraqi police and U.S. forces that held Berg past his scheduled departure date. Or Rumsfeld. Or the Bush administration in general (especially with news that given the chance to capture Zarqawi, the administration passed to bolster its case for war).

But I like what Mariane Pearl said about the matter:

Those who killed Danny and those who killed Nicholas Berg are despicable people but violence doesn't end violence. [. . .] It's a horrendous murder similar to the one Danny went through, and proof that violence leads to violence. This cycle of violence is not likely to end.

Jay brings us the words of Marianne Pearl (wife of Danny Pearl cruelly murdered by terrorists in Afghanistan), "Violence doesn't end violence," and other advocates of peace who although they had been victims of violence themselves, find it in their hearts to preach forgiveness. It is, indeed, good to remember we don't always have to answer hatred with hatred, nor violence with violence. Sometimes we can answer both with forgiveness and compassion.

Posted by Mary at May 13, 2004 06:21 AM | Recommended Reading | Technorati links |

You would think we should have learned this from the Israeli experience.

Posted by: Ron In Portland at May 13, 2004 02:49 PM