There are many folks around the Net saying that Nick Berg is the “first casualty of prisoner abuse.” I won’t bother linking to them, as I think you can find a truckload at any political, news, or other opinion site you visit.
I think, however, that they’re missing the point. Nick Berg was kidnapped before the torture photos came out. I’m pretty sure they were going to kill him anyway. Two words come to mind when I read their statement: “convenient excuse.”
The reason that Abu Ghraib and the torture/abuse/whatever that went on there is damaging is not because of the terrorist acts it will stir up. It’s damaging because non-violent muslims will be even less likely to speak up against the Islamicists. When the most prominent alternative to Islamicism is pictured doing horrible things, it’s not worth the criticism that you are Shaitan’s tool for speaking out against the Islamicists.
Nick Berg isn’t the first victim–the first victim was the Iraqi or the Pakistani or the Qatari or the Saudi who either voiced support or failed to condemn the terrorist’s murder of Mr. Berg, thus making it more acceptable to get new recruits.
Terrorists will do what they have always done, and they won’t stop. The only difference is how they are perceived by those they claim to be fighting for. The KKK is held in disgust by the vast majority of whites in America now. In the 1960s the KKK were the terrorists. They didn’t change, white America did.
So remember, poor Nick Berg was already a victim of Islamic terror. Muslim opinion was the victim of Abu Ghraib.