View Full Version : The Berg Beheading

Berenger Saunier
13th May 2004, 13:02
Hello everyone,

Today I was sent a www link where it is possible to download a brief video of the Beheading of US Citizen Mr. Nick Berg recently. Its ghastly, but I thought it of sufficient topical interest to offer it here to we happy few. I've just re-read the rules of engagement sticky, and it doesn't on first blush seem to violate any, but should I post the link here? I warn those who may be interested, its quite unsettling...but then we don't often get to see war with our own eyes. Perhaps the interests of peace might be advanced if more were visually informed?

Advice please?


13th May 2004, 13:07
For what it's worth, I vote no.

13th May 2004, 13:09
Don't do it.
There are plenty of other sites that link to that horrific event. PPRuNe is supposed to be a family oriented site and one should stay within the bounds of the "Hotel Lobby Rule".

As others have requested jet Blast is supposed to be about stupid jokes and fun with an aviation flavour. It is in desprately short supply round here at the moment.

13th May 2004, 13:10
No. Please do not.

As regards the original, from the BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/3710709.stm)

Berg video website shut down

By Jonathan Kent
BBC, Kuala Lumpur

The internet website that first posted video footage of an American contractor being beheaded in Iraq has been closed.
The Malaysian server for the site said it took action after the huge numbers of people trying to view the video overloaded its systems.

The company said it had been unaware of the site's contents, but would have acted sooner if it had known.

The graphic images of 26-year-old Nicholas Berg's death prompted shock and outrage the world over.

They also prompted thousands upon thousands of people to log on to the internet so they could see for themselves the entire event in all its horror.

The video was stored on a computer server belonging to a Malaysian web hosting company, Acme Commerce Sendirian Berhad.

The server had been leased to the creators of the site, Al-ansar.biz. They first put the film on the net, and are thought to have links to al-Qaeda.

13th May 2004, 13:10
I'm with Timmcat.

If anyone really wants to - they can go and search for it themselves. (Or PM you and ask......)

Please do not post it - it is not in keeping with other somewhat heated debates here.

13th May 2004, 13:18
A resounding no from me too. There is no need for any of us to see it.

13th May 2004, 13:21
Absolutely agree with the posts above. NO!

13th May 2004, 13:22
Nope. Now can we close this thread?


13th May 2004, 13:31
Jeez, some people really are sick! :yuk:

What's with all this voyeristic gory preoccupation , shadefreude or something? Are you for real mate?

This is not Vincent Price in 'The Theatre of Blood; or some kind of acting, this is about watching the agony, torture, sufferering & gruesome execution of a real live human being in his death throes.

Not for public viewing in my opinion & certainly not for this site. I'm amazed that 'Berenger Saunier' hasn't the gumption to realise that & has to even ask the question. :rolleyes:

Do me a favour & close the door behind you when you leave & head back to the underworld, unsavoury sites which I've no doubt would be more to your taste.

Coco :mad:

Berenger Saunier
13th May 2004, 13:44
Gosh Coco, I sure to seem to have rattled your cage! But if you could stop squealing long enough to think for a moment, consider the following.

I note the few responses so far are against the idea, quite strongly so as a matter of fact. Isn't this just a head-in-the-sand policy though? I think that if more people could see with their own eyes what really goes on in wartime, there would be fewer wars. Its somehow so sanitised, so filtered by media organisations, as to be an almost abstract notion.

The truth will set you free, though perhaps not here? Is that what your shriek is about Coco....and the word you're groping for is schadenfreude which, literally translated, means 'damage-joy', and no I don't seek that with my proposal at all.


13th May 2004, 13:51
Berenger Saunier,

I can see where you are coming from, but would you want your 11 year old son/daughter seeing such violence?

I have seen the video clip and it actually made me physically sick. I have seen my fair share of damaged and mutilated corpses, and to be honest I really dont think it is family entertainment.

13th May 2004, 13:51
The links were already posted yesterday and have been deleted, BS. It was courteous of you to ask without just doing it though.

13th May 2004, 13:59
You obviously are a newcomer mate & haven't been on this site long enough to have the basic inkling (or common sense for that matter) to know how to distinguish between what is permissible & what is downright unsuitable for what someone said earlier 'Is a family site'. I doubt somehow you suggest would fall anywhere near the boundaries of what the 'Hotel Lobby Rules' here are.

I doubt most people would need to witness this video to become enlightened to the fact that war is no picnic no more than people would like to visit an abbatoir to see how that slab of meat really landed on their plate, we humans need to have selective amnesia to stay sane & functioning IMHO. The shrinks & sleep therapists might do well out of it but that's about it.


Berenger Saunier
13th May 2004, 14:03
Hello G-AWZK. No I certainly would not like my children to see the video, or any children for that matter, its quite horrific by my western value system, but this is an website for adults, not children, and we all are possessed of an ability to choose. We may access the link, were I to post it here, or not.

Hello Blue Diamond. Thanks for the kind words. A moderate tone is always a pleasure to read. I couldn't possibly just go ahead and post the (still operational, btw) link when its subject matter is so fraught. Still seeking authoritative advice. Perhaps from the lady with the pink dragon?

we humans need to have selective amnesia to stay sane & functioning IMHO. Thatís quite an opinion, Coconuts. A less kind observer might call it the ultimate shirking of responsibility. I'm alright, Jack, and so on. Are you alright, Coconuts? I think it neither necessary nor advised to be so blatantly unpleasant to me. You're entitled to your ignorance, Coco, and good for you that you can sleep at night safe in the selective amnesia that all's right with the world. Oh that it were so simple for the rest of us, inconveniently burdened by such trivialities as conscience and sense of responsibility.


13th May 2004, 14:03
I don't wish to view the clip but I think you would have just posted it anyway if you were the sort of person Coconuts seems to think.

I think you have a point. I have often wondered if all the film taken of war scenes/aftermath of incidents etc was shown completely unedited to the public, would more people take an active interest in what thier government is doing or getting involved in on thier behalf?
Instead everything really shocking is edited out to keep it palatable for the masses as they eat thier dinner watching the 6.00pm news.

13th May 2004, 14:05
I would have been surprised had anybody answered in the affirmative, and no, I don't think it should be posted here either. But last night I was chatting briefly to somebody on Messenger who asked if I had seen the beheading. No, I said. So he posted me the url, as though I naturally wanted to see it. I looked at it with distaste and told him I thought I could probably do without seeing it.

Half an hour later I found myself typing in the url. Like the fascination of a snake the thought wouldn't go away. I hated myself for doing it, all the while knowing that millions of people all over the world would be doing the same thing, and a good percentage of them would be hating themselves for doing it. Some of them may even post righteous comments on noticeboards condemning those who fall prey to the curiosity as exhibiting "voyeristic gory preoccupation , shadefreude or something". Those people are free to examine their own conscience.

We have an inbuilt fascination with death, which those who are forced to confront it every day soon lose. The more fortunate of us who don't see it regularly, or in most cases at all (and I am lucky to be one of those) are probably destined never to lose that fascination, even if we feel secretly guilty about it. Why else would fatal accidents be considered news?

In the end, I was unable to get through to the website, and there was a very definite sense of satisfaction in that result, or lack of it.

I had initially denied any interest, occupying as I do :rolleyes: a higher intellectual plane than the tabloid readers who would be swarming all over the site. Then I examined my own conscience, and was forced to confront what I found, so I admitted my failings and went searching for the thing that would satisfy the itch. Strangely enough, the act of admitting that I would search for it proved sufficient. I punctured my own pomposity. Now having pondered all the intangibles in my mind I feel no desire whatsoever to chase it up any further.

Yet another milestone in self-discovery. In the end it's really no different from searching out hard core porn, is it? We are what we are, except for some who are only what they claim to be and have to live alone with the reality.

13th May 2004, 14:09
I have seen the video also and it has had quite an effect on me. I actually believe everyone SHOULD view it. It puts all other things that are being decried in perspective. But, no I do not believe the the link should be posted on PPRuNe. Folks can google for the links.


13th May 2004, 14:11
Thankyou for a succinct and deep reaching post.
You have probaly described the inner feelings of many.
Hopefully, we can take your example as a good lesson and move on without having to go through the disturbing detail bits for ourselves!

BS I still say NO! ;)

13th May 2004, 14:12
Let's keep in mind here the inescapable fact that those who have seen the video must have gone looking for it. Nobody is forced to watch it, so let's try to keep the self-righteousness to a reasonable level.

13th May 2004, 14:19
Berenger Saunier,

Despite being aimed primarily at professional aviators, this site attracts a wide variety of readers, from the very young who are looking at the possibilities of aviation as a career and those who are fascinated by the magic of flight.

This *is* a family site, and the general direction (in my understanding) is to try and keep it "U" rated.

I am sure there will be some who will PM you for details of the link, but it does not take Sherlock Holmes to Google up many other sites that host that sort of shocking images.


I clicked on the link that was put on this site yesterday. In my naeivety, I did not think that the video clip would be quite so graphic. For some reason (media enforced possibly) I thought it may well stop short of showing the cruel act itself. I do hope I am not coming across as a patronising pompous old fa_rt.

13th May 2004, 14:19
Don't post it.

Anyone with any internet nous can find the bloody thing -- it was even linked to from the Drudge Report last night.

But I agree that visual images (a picture is worth a thousand words -- who said that?) convey horror more effectively than a lot of journos can do.

Whether you click on a video link is up to you. You have the choice.

I didn't click. The pictures in the papers were enough for me to know that the poor man was not decapitated with a clean slice. His head was SAWN off.

How depressing this all is.

13th May 2004, 14:20
I've seen the video on Sky News like most to the point where the knife was produced & the perpetrator leant over to commit his dastardly dead. I do not feel I need to see anymore to become enlightened as to what happened afterwards, I know what happened. Also I do not feel & I feel alot of people are like me that I could cope with watching it, I know I would have nightmares after it, I'm barely able to cope with how I feel about it so far.

No, I do not engage in 'ultimate shirking of responsibility'. I study conflicts & conflict resolution for my degree & quite gory stuff at that.

I am very dubious about the motives of many who want to watch the complete video since I cannot see any practical benefit in doing so.

Have to go back to work sorry...


13th May 2004, 14:23
Sorry if I sounded self righteous - didn't think I did :(
I freely admit I did think many times of "going to see" out of morbid curiosity. I am glad I have not and your post has helped me examine why I have wanted to look and why I didn't.....

I've seen some pretty rough stuff on uncut news feeds through my line of employment and it mostly goes over my head. Except that involving kids. Now that does get to me. :(

13th May 2004, 14:25
This is a thread that should probably never have been started for all the reasons already mentioned, yet I can't help wondering what kind of pampered, woolly world the objectors live in. It happened and it behoves those of us who care to know exactly what goes on in the other world (that is not "the real world" in which we live). Like the TV you don't have to look, some might appreciate the link to see what goes on.

Like another poster I googled for a few minutes and didn't find it, curiosity over.

13th May 2004, 14:29
Dish Man,

Your post and mine overlapped. I certainly wasn't having a go at you. Thank you for your comments about my post.

Coco, you mean you're doing a degree? For heaven's sake, woman, why didn't you tell us? :rolleyes:

13th May 2004, 14:36
Interesting topic. Most of my flying is done in the middle east sector where I get the opportunity to watch arabic news channels, the good old BBC world and CNN.

The style of news reporting is worlds apart. The arabic channels report the news as it is. With true images of the consequences that armed conflict generates (viz a viz the bodies of young children and women being thrown in the back of a truck) Whilst the BBC and CNN use a softer approach .

It is my belief that people should be presented with the opportunity to view the true reality of what does happen whether it is in the streets of some city or in the confines of a prision block. You may not like what you see but have that freedom to look or not look.

So Publish and be damned! as Wellington said

13th May 2004, 14:37
PHEW :ok:
Thought I was really losing it today!


I'm not pampered or wooly....far from it.

People stating that they do not think it should be posted are merely responding to BS's question.

Overwhelmingly that response has been No......simple really isn't it?

13th May 2004, 14:37
As has already been noted, this is not the place for such a link, and I don't believe that it should have been posted at all, out of respect for the family.

The family have already had a loved one taken from them in a most appaling way, it can do nothing to ease their anguish knowing that this video is avalaible, and that people are going out of their way to watch this dreadful murder.


13th May 2004, 14:39
I agree CoCo.

Watching that piece of terrorist pornography will make no-one any wiser, jusr desensitise them further to violence.

The implication that horribly murdering an unconnected civilian is a reasonable response to deplorable prison abuses is repulsive, rather reminiscent of the way that our own dear IRA reacted to housing and job descrimination by blowing up civilians in London.

13th May 2004, 14:51
I just looked at some of the still images from the video and there is nothing that makes me want to look at the whole thing. It is horrific.

I don't agree that it should be in any way censored though - I think it is things like this that really bring home what the international community has to deal with and should provide greater support to those people currently risking their lives to protect us from these terrorists and sick, evil murderers.

These events can seem a world away at times, but images like this bring it right home.

13th May 2004, 14:58
Berenger Saunier, In your response to Coconuts you said,

Isn't this just a head-in-the-sand policy though? I think that if more people could see with their own eyes what really goes on in wartime, there would be fewer wars.

People do not need to see these acts to appreciate the horrific aspects of warfare. All you achieve is is the propagation of gratuitous violence that panders to the sick, twisted and depraved few.

Try and imagine if you were unfortunate enough to be related to the victim. Your grief will be tainted knowing that people are watching the act. I don't see how you can justify this gallows type attitude without having some sort of sick fantasy.

As for the rest of your posts I feel you are just trying to stir things up.

RIP anyone caught up in the current conflict.

13th May 2004, 15:24
Don't know who started this particular shitty thread, but don't hide behind the "Jet blast - not for the faint hearted" crap. If you are an (ex-) serviceman then you should fcukingwell know better, if you are not, then sorry mate but if we showed in graphic detail the exact nature of every wartime attrocity then we would be here forever. It happens. Its sick, horrific and evil, but it happens. Whether it is some innocent civilian in Iraq, or whether it is a village full of women and children in the Balkans being raped and burned alive. Actually seeing it does not make it any more hard hitting and horrific than it already is.

Somebody somewhere have the decency to delete this stupid thread. Give the Bergs some dignity for fcuksake.

Rant Over.

13th May 2004, 15:36
I agree that this link should definitely not be posted. It would achieve NOTHING. It's nothing about having our heads in the sand - let's face it, man's irrational hatred of man has been around for centuries, long before there were live images of the atrocities concerned. It would be great to think that publishing vile stuff like this would make a difference, but in fact, I feel it is precisely the "we must publish" attitude to be far more blinkered than the "let's not" camp. We've developed the ability to watch each other's daily lives far beyond our ability to control our voyeuristic tendencies. For pity's sake, surely we know enough of this without giving first-hand evidence to the entire world?

13th May 2004, 15:59
Somebody somewhere have the decency to delete this stupid thread. Give the Bergs some dignity for fcuksake

Nothing in this thread has glorified or given any indication of being less than sickened by what happened. It's also rather unlikely the Bergs would be looking at this thread; I'm sure it's the least of their worries. Perhaps, Flytest, you could read the whole thread before making your sanctimonious demands. Not all here are as pure and virtuous as you.

13th May 2004, 16:17
I watched it, and it was sickening. But the most chilling thing for me was that when there was a pause in their shouts of 'Allah Akhbar' you can actually hear them laughing. Sniggering.


13th May 2004, 17:00
There's enough sh!t out here on there internet. Why drag this website into it?

Berenger Saunier
13th May 2004, 17:34
It was I who started this particular shitty (sic) thread, Flytest, as you will have noted had you punctuated your self-righteous indignation with a few more moments reading.
Actually seeing it does not make it any more hard hitting and horrific than it already is. I beg to differ, Flytest.

I sat shaken and angry after viewing the beheading of Mr. Berg and then carefully thought about my own response to it. Binos has, on page 2, eloquently expressed a wonderfully open examination of his own conscience in respect of wanting to see it, but I wonder if I might suggest a step or two beyond this.

If we, all of us, were to see with our own eyes the true nature of warfare in all its horror, then surely we as a race, a nation, and perhaps even one happy day, a planet, will be sufficiently motivated to reject outright the notion of warfare as a solution to the seemingly endemic human condition of conflict.

Even a cursory examination of the past 200 years shows us that lessons have not been learned. Napoleonic Wars, American Civil War, the Boer War, WW1, WW2, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf1, Balkans, Gulf2. Not fifty years between any of them! Presuming we hold to the premise that war is horrific and to be avoided (and I'm aware that there are any number of commercial organisations that do not), clearly our current system is not working.

I propose taking individual responsibility for actions that are taken in our names by, in the case of western democracies, our elected representatives. Perhaps a reasonable first step would be to actually see the visual reality of what's going on in the world, rather than practise "selective amnesia to stay sane and functioning", as our young student friend Coconuts flung in my general direction earlier today.

The video I saw today made me ponder in despair just how far down from the trees we've evolved after all. Perhaps seeing this dreadful display might provoke reactions of a similar sort in others.


13th May 2004, 17:34
What a dreadful thing to have happened to a young man unlucky enough to be caught up in such sickening conflict.

I think censorship in any form has a negative effect on society. We should have the right to view these images if, as many here have said, it gives us a feeling of perspective or maybe even empathy.

I personally would gain no greater insight into the atrocities of war by seeing the act itself. If that is "burying my head in the sand" or something equally cowardly then so be it. I have no desire to have the same view of a killing as the perpetrators, however I believe that the material should be available ELSEWHERE for those who feel differently.


You have a very good point and you appear to be one of life's optimists.

If we as a race, nation, planet etc could achieve a collective goal as a cohesive unit we could be on our way to world peace....However when you are dealing with religious and political extremists who view violence as an effective tactic against the west, we've lost half the battle already...

13th May 2004, 18:11
Dunno why I feel compelled to write about this thread since I didn't watch the video. I heard the beginning of the news which saddened me beyond imagination on behalf of Berg,Pearl family and all the others who met the same faith in the past.

See no evil, hear no evil,speak no evil will not get us far in the western society.
I wish we could stop taking blame for these sub humans and fall prey to their ultimate wishes for striking terror in our overly logical minds and great desire to elevate them into our way of thinking and living styles.

PS: My first experience with " terror bomb" was at the age of 7. My first experience with "someone sticking a gun and blowing the head of an innocent person" was at the age of 23. Unless you have actuallly lived through a terroristic threat,what you watch or hear over the media cannot describe the feeling.
Total numbness followed by disbelief, followed by intense rage.

13th May 2004, 18:34
No one is stopping anyone from viewing the video if they have such a bloodlust. Anyone with a bit of internet savvy can search for it if they are so inclined. Just because I and all my admins refuse to allow any link to the video does not mean that I or any of us are acting ostrich like or perpetuating the conflicts of mankind and to insinuate as much is an insult.

Personally, I have been in real fighting with real bullets, grenade & artillery fragments ripping through flesh and bone, with phosphorus burning living flesh of those around me and the attendant sounds of human agony and stench of death and despair. There is no way that the effects of those experiences can compare to video footage of a fellow human being butchered to death by a bunch of hooded racists shouting allah-akhbar over the dying screams of the victim.

Those of you who felt the need to seek out the video, as so eloquently described by Binos, will have your own consciences and possible nightmares to contend with. Knowing that there are websites out there dedicated to showing the kind of gore and suffering that excites some of you only goes to prove that humanity and civilisation have a long way to yet evolve. By arguing that showing such footage and pictures could put some kind of damper on the animalistic urge of some humans to kill and maim fellow man is as naive as arguing that showing endless reels of kiddie porn is likely to reduce the number of paedophiles in society.

Mans natural state is conflict. Peace is unnatural and as societies expand and space is reduced, wars erupt. They are as barbaric now as they have ever been, just a little less personalised. By giving in to the urges of a few voyeurs who have a morbid fascination with video and pictures of human butchery is not going to change human nature one iota if we make it any easier for them to satisfy their primordial instincts and let them indulge in their horror fantasies.

The family of Nick Berg will not be reading this website, probably, but that does not mean that the thought that hundreds of thousands of people have viewed and possibly saved the video footage does not concern them. Put yourself in their position, imagine your son or brother or father was in that video and a large percentage of the people viewing it were getting a sense of satisfaction out of it. Whether you were sickened or excited by it, you were fulfilling an urge to view it and in our society we try to respect individuals feeling at the time of their grief.

The video will no doubt be on open sale in the shouks of the Arab countries by now. Anyone who has been to any of the countries in the region will know that there is a market for videos and CD's of humanities worst atrocities that are used as some kind of sick entertainment. They have been viewing those types of real death videos for many years and I don't see any less thirst for the same kind of voyeurism by the butchers of Nick Berg or the Mullahs who give them the blessing.

So, there will be no links to the video on PPRuNe just as there are no links to the other websites that thrive on such deviant self gratification. I have not seen the video and have absolutely no desire to. I can only wonder why some others feel the need to try and make us view it as part of some kind of moral crusade!

13th May 2004, 18:50
Sorry Danny but been at work and only just got home, or you wouldn't have needed to post the above. For everyone's info, I was the one that deleted the previous link to the site showing the beheading, and I shall delete any other links to what are - effectively - "snuff movie sites". And since the decision has been made, I see no further need to discuss it here, so the thread is closed.

(edited to say - don't know how the posting time shows that I posted hours before I did! Time now 1932)