Bowe Bergdahl, Daniel Pearl, Nick Berg

Modified 14 September 2014, see below.

When watching the video which has been released by the Haqqani group showing the handover of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl to U.S. Special Forces after five years in captivity on 31 May, I am much relieved. In the video, Bergdahl seems to tremble with fear apparently uncertain whether he would be killed in the last moments of his liberation. He must have endured hell on earth. The Daily Beast knows that Bergdahl had tried in 2012 a second time (after the fall of 2011) to escape from his tormentors. He even made it to a village in Pakistan where the villagers handed him over to his captors. “Don’t come back to Afghanistan”, the footage says.

Bergdahl reminds me of Daniel Pearl, the American journalist who was kidnapped in Karachi on 23 January 2002 and killed nine days later on camera by severing his head from his body. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the Kuwaiti “architect” of the 9-11 attacks, had confessed that he had personally beheaded Daniel Pearl. Well, after having been waterboarded 183 times at Gitmo.

I remember with extreme disgust when an Egyptian colleague at Kuwait University wanted to teach me (a Westerner) a lesson in May 2004, after the Abu Ghuraib scandal had been revealed, by forcing me to watch a video of Nick Berg’s beheading, the first to be killed on camera by then called al-Qaeda in Iraq, in the Faculty’s lounge, sort of pornograhic Islamist terrorism.

Bergdahl is currently in Germany, in a U.S. Army military hospital in Landshut.

7 June 2014 @ 8:01 pm.
Last modified September 14, 2014. After reading a blog post by Juan Cole today I noted that I had been forced to see Nick Berg’s beheading, not Daniel Pearl’s.
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