"Video Shows Beheading of American in Iraq"


That's the grim headline of a new story out of Iraq. U.S. citizen Nick Berg, who went missing in Iraq on April 9.

A video posted Tuesday on an Islamic militant Web site showed the beheading of an American civilian in Iraq (news—web sites), and said the execution was carried out by an al-Qaida affiliated group to avenge the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by American soldiers.

The video bore the title "Abu Musab al-Zarqawi shown slaughtering an American." It was unclear whether al-Zarqawi ? an associated of Osama bin Laden (news—web sites) ? was shown in the video, or was claiming responsibility for ordering the execution.

Al-Zarqawi also is said to have ties to terrorist groups ranging from Ansar al Islam in Iraq to Egyptian Islamic Jihad. He's believed to be behind many attacks in Iraq, including numerous high-profile operations.

Whole thing here. Apart from all other considerations, it seems to me that this sort of atrocity is far more likely to extend US involvement rather than speed up its end. If the Abu Ghraib abuses have made many Americans–including war supporters–question the U.S. mission there, this sort of thing, like the Daniel Pearl murder, makes Americans want to slug things out more.