A Democracy of Suckers:
Nick Berg looks like he would have been cool to have a beer with. Pre-beheading, Berg was, according to those who mourn him, a hard-working, smart son of a bitch who ran his own small business. Fuck, he was even noble, traveling to Third World countries to help villages with his technological know-how. Of course, death, especially brutal, sudden, public death, ameliorates one's weaknesses in the eyes of loved ones. There will be time, there will be time to mourn the real person, in all his good and bad. But there is one unalterable, undeniable, un-sweep-under-the-rug-able aspect of Nick Berg's last couple of years: he was one of the millions of suckers to the Bush doctrine of American goodness and might and its application to Iraq.

See, forgetting about the whole WMDs and links-to-terrorism deal, beyond the "we're so goddamn magnanimous because we're spreading democracy" aspect, the Bushkoviks also promised Iraq as a bastion of capitalistic bacchanalia. And they certainly made it seem so, privatizing everything from security for aid groups to the shitcans for the soldiers, and letting corporate America loose itself with unadulterated glee. Certainly, the aggressive recruiting of Americans to head in, mercenary-style, to "support" the U.S. military has had an influence on the way American companies think about doing business.

Let's put it this way: you're the dweeby guy in high school who gets A's on all his projects, the teachers love you, and you have great, great friends. You have one problem though: in order for your teenage years to be complete, you need to have some pussy. Everyone around you is getting pussy - the football team, the student government, fuck, even the glee club is getting pussy every chance they can. You gotta wonder, "Everywhere I look, all the other guys are balls deep in pussy, pussy, pussy. What's wrong with me?" A member of the chess club who gets more pussy than you can even conceive of, tells you, "You wanna get some pussy? Here, start taking these," and he hands you a bottle of steroids. You think, "Man, it's a risk, but shit, if the end result is I finally get some pussy so everyone thinks I'm one of the big guys on campus, then fuck it." And you start downin' that shit like M&Ms. 'Course, in the end, it could give you a heart attack and kill you, or, irony of ironies, make your dick get so small it couldn't find a pussy with a pussy dowsing rod, but who the fuck cares? You might, oh, gamble of gambles, finally say you got some pussy.

Nick Berg went to Iraq for noble and not-so-noble reasons: he wanted to help in the great cause his President seemed to call people to (at least those who had donated large sums to his campaign), but he also wanted to cash in on some of that post-Baathist lucre. His President had called him to that cause, too - Iraq as the great enabler of American profit. If nothing else, at least Berg put his own ass where his conscience was, unlike so many others who send surrogate asses to be torn to bits for . . . what reason, again?

What happened to Nick Berg was a goddamn nightmare. His father, Michael, forcefully opposed the war his son supported. "I think a lot of people are fed up with the lack of civil rights this thing has caused," he said of Bush's Great Iraqi Adventure. "I don't think this administration is committed to democracy." Father knows best, you know. He knows we have been played for suckers, like so many losers at three-card monte. He knows his son was a victim to the hate that hatred bred.