Thursday, March 30, 2006

Father of Nick Berg - beheaded in Iraq runs for Congress

Father of Nick Berg - beheaded in Iraq runs for Congress - Yahoo! News

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - Almost two years after the videotaped beheading of U.S. contractor Nick Berg in Iraq, his father is running a third-party race for the U.S. Congress on a platform seeking a complete withdrawal of American troops.



Berg, 61, acknowledges that his late entry into politics is a result of his son's grisly death at the hands of hooded captors in May 2004. The event brought the elder Berg worldwide media attention, especially after he publicly blamed U.S.
President George W. Bush and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

BUSH SEEN AS LIABILITY

Voter opposition to the Iraq war and Bush's growing unpopularity mean that any candidate who has supported both will be vulnerable, even to a maverick with no previous political experience, Berg said.

"This is the year that Castle can be beaten," Berg said. "He has allied himself so closely with President Bush that he will go down with the president."

He said the war not only kills U.S. soldiers and Iraqi civilians, but increases the risk of terrorist attacks on American soil.

Elizabeth Wenk, a spokeswoman for Castle, said the congressman differs with the White House on several major issues and that "Mr. Castle is arguably the most independent member of the House of Representatives."

Berg did not consider running as a Democrat, even though that would have meant more funding than his meager campaign resources, currently about $5,000.

"I would rather run on my shoestring budget than on the silver slipper of the Democrats," he said.

Prominent Democrats such as Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. John Kerry want to "escalate" the war in Iraq by sending in more troops, Berg argues.

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