Berg brings his anti-war message to RI

Annals of dissent
By IAN DONNIS  |  July 5, 2006


DIFFICULT LOSS: Berg.
Running as a Green Party member against seven-term incumbent US Representative Mike Castle (R-Delaware), Michael Berg faces a scant prospect of winning the November election. Then again, Berg, whose son, Nicholas, was beheaded in Iraq in May 2004, says his real purpose in getting into the race is to spread an anti-war message.

While he endorses environmental responsibility, universal health-care, and other elements of the Green platform, “I have to admit I never would have been a politician if not for the war, and I’m not a politician,” he said a phone interview last week. Furthermore, if Castle were to renounce the war, “I would gladly bow out,” Berg says.

Delaware Democrats asked him to run against Castle, a self-described moderate who, he says, almost always votes with Bush, but he chose to run as a Green since Democrats weren’t willing to abide his anti-war message. As it stands, although he gets some attention in larger papers, the media in Delaware tend to ignore him, Berg says.

Berg is slated to take part in a July 10 peace demonstration with relatives of military members in Wickford Village, at Brown and Main streets, from 6-8 pm. He is also scheduled to speak in Providence (Mi Sueno, 1070 Broad St.) at 6:30 pm on July 11 to support the Green Party member Steven Kelly of Saunderstown’s US Senate campaign.

The longtime peace activist, a high school teacher and Philadelphia native, says he intensified these activities during the Persian Gulf War in 1991, despite reprimands at his school. According to his campaign Web site (www.bergforcongress.us), the American military and the FBI illegally detained his son, who was on a peace mission, in Iraq for 13 days. By the time when Nicholas Berg was released, Iraqis were outraged by the revelations about American abuses of prisoners at Abu Ghraib.

Berg says he blames the US government, as well as his son’s killers, for Nick’s death. The reports about Abu Ghraib, he says, “certainly changed the nature of the war. It wasn’t that unsafe for him to be there before that revelation.” Nick, he says, had tickets for a return flight on March 30 to be in the wedding party of one of his best friends, but was not released from a US military prison until early April.

The peace activist predicts that the Bush administration will go down as “the worst chapter in the history of the United States. I don’t see how any thing can be worse than this.” He questions how Bush, a Christian, reconciles the ongoing bloodshed in Iraq — Berg says 150,000 people have died — with the teachings of his religion. People have too easily accepted the president’s description of the war as a battle between good and evil, he says, “rather than searching your own heart and your own values.”

Now, though, “I think the handwriting is on the wall,” and he believes Republicans will need to back away from supporting the war unless they want to suffer a domestic political defeat. “The time has come for peace,” Berg says. “Politically, the time has come, and I think people are beginning to see that.”

  Topics: This Just In , U.S. Government, U.S. Congressional News, Elections and Voting,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY IAN DONNIS
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   RHODY'S LOCAL FOOD MOVEMENT FINDS ITS GROOVE  |  February 23, 2009
    Five years ago, when Farm Fresh Rhode Island (FFRI) launched its mission of promoting Ocean State-produced food, co-founder Noah Fulmer discovered a curious disconnection in the local food chain.
  •   TICKET TO RIDE  |  February 11, 2009
    In April 1999, two weeks after I started on the job at the Providence Phoenix , the FBI raided City Hall, formally unveiling the federal investigation that would land Vincent A. "Buddy" Cianci Jr., Rhode Island's rascal king, behind bars.
  •   ADVOCATES RENEW PUSH FOR PUBLICLY-FINANCED RI ELECTIONS  |  February 04, 2009
    During a news conference Tuesday afternoon in the State House rotunda, proponents of significantly expanding publicly financed elections in Rhode Island — a concept they call "Fair Elections" — cited a litany of reasons for why it would be good for the Ocean State and its citizens.
  •   THE UPSIDE OF HOPE IN RHODE ISLAND  |  January 29, 2009
    Everywhere one turns these days, there's seemingly more bad news about Rhode Island: the unemployment rate, one of the highest in the nation, tops 10 percent — and the state's running out of unemployment assistance.
  •   BROGAN TAKES ON TEENS, SOCIAL NETWORKING IN TEASER  |  January 28, 2009
    Former Providence Journal reporter Jan Brogan is out with her fourth mystery, Teaser .

 See all articles by: IAN DONNIS