Decapitation of Nicholas Berg occurred and a video was released at a time when Private Lynndie England, was telling a Fort Bragg, N.C., television station that her superiors gave her specific instructions on how to pose for photos showing her with naked Iraqi prisoners and when U.S. lawmakers were shown hundreds of new images depicting sexual humiliation and physical abuse of Iraqi prisoners, leaving some members of Congress so shaken.

As many analysts around the world are challenging the official translation of beheading tape in which word al qaed — the one sitting, doing nothing — is replaced with al Qaeda, which means "the base," there are reports that the accent is wrong for the real Zarqawi (who should limp from his artificial leg even if reports of his prior death are wrong). The Iraqis are saying these were "foreigners" carrying out the beheading.

Other analysts report that the hooded men have white skin, as white as Nick himself. And weapons experts have identified the AK-47 carried by one man as the "Gilal", the Israeli-made variant of that weapon.

Clearly, there is more to the Nick Berg story than we are being told. Denial through blaming everything on “conspiracy theories” aside, one need to just observe how just one murder, out of the many thousands Muslims and non-Muslims killed in this war so far, is highlighted to promote an illegitimate war.

Besides thousands of Iraqis, the close to 800 Americans who lost their lives must have gone through similar pains. It is only that no one had the opportunity to zoom in on their individual tragedies.

The New York Post May 12 write up, “What cruel, sick bastards” is a predictable response to Nick Berg's brutal murder. Yet more thoughtful commentators also made frequent reference to "us" and "them" — the civilized world and the barbaric terrorists to raise patriotic passions.

The Washington Times writes in the first lies of its May 14 editorial: “If you have not yet seen the video of Nicholas Berg's beheading, you have not fully experienced the passions of the nation's enemies nor, perhaps, your own patriotic passion for victory.”

On the one hand paper such as the New York Times (May 14) questions the official story and asks questions about how Berg came to be in Iraqi police custody immediately before his kidnapping, what happened to him there and what knowledge American officials had about his situation. On the other hand evidence is mounting that the video is doctored. Yet papers, such as Washington Times, lose no opportunity to conclude its editorial with the same pro war, anti-Islam mantra: “Americans can expect no mercy from such Islamo-fascists. Against such enemies, the only hope of victory lies in an unwavering resolve, constant vigilance and aggressive action.”

The New York Post says: “Forget Abu Ghraib.” Instead, “it's time to ratchet up the response to this war.” In a battle cry the paper adds: “Some people - some Americans - have forgotten about 9/11. That attack should have been enough to justify all-out war.”

Though the perpetrator in this case is believed to be Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi, the fact that he and other members of al Qaeda and its affiliates remain elusive provokes, as usual, a we-have-to-come-out-swinging response that if acted upon will mean that one act of indiscriminate violence will be met by another. The cycle will go on.

The impulse to crush terrorism is understandable, yet wars and occupations are reactions that are instrumental in furthering alienating and painting a people as enemies. Mutual hostility and violence thrives on generating indiscriminate fear of the "other."

The use of “us” and “them” terminology over the past 14 years has brought the world to the present state of unprecedented crimes against humanity. Nicholas Berg happens to be just one unfortunate victim of the consequences of attempts to paint Muslims and their religion as a whole as threat.

When the American analysts talk about "them" they are glossing over the infuriating fact that by and large they don't actually know who they are. The New York Post editorial, for example, considers the wars and occupations so far as “half measures” and suggests “American has to come out swinging” for “total annihilation” as the right response to “get the job done.”

All these are short sighted attempts at hiding the bigger picture. As we come to know from Richard Sisk’s New York Daily New report (May 13, 2004) that Rumsfeld have started to concede that “Iraq mission could fail” the world has to where to go rather than turning back to the bigger picture, where we find the following:

1. Muslims and Islam have been incorrectly and maliciously painted as the enemy,

2. Muslims have never been granted real independence since the colonial period, and

3. all their attempts at self-rule have been thwarted through different kinds of interventions, occupations and keeping dictators in charge of affairs in Muslim lands.

It is time for the world to accept that:

1. There cannot be any peace without justice and continuation of double standards -- one set of standards for Israel and US and another for the Muslim world;

2. Islam is not a threat to the West or Western people;

3. Islam need no "rebuilding" or remoulding to make it fit to the need of the 21st century imperialists;

4. Muslims are not the enemies of freedom and democracy;

5. Muslim deserve and have the right to establish a socio-economic and political order in their lands according to the Qur’an and Sunnah, where they could truly live by Islam, and

6. an Islamic governing system is in no way a threat to Western interests.

Without such realisation, the world will keep slipping into the deep quagmire. In the near future, it will take us to such a horrible situation that tales from Abu Ghraib and decapitation of Nicholas Berg may pale into insignificance and look far humane by comparison.

It is time to expose the truth and save the humanity from the curse of lies.