Three or Four Thwacks Severed the Man’s Head

I just clicked on a short video on a skeptics website. The footage was labeled something like “A Sunni Day in Syria,” so, not being overly naive, I figured it would feature something ugly done in the name of Sunni Islam in that war-ravaged country. And I wasn’t wrong. But I also wasn’t prepared for what I saw: a sword-wielding jihadist thwacking at a bound man’s neck. Three or four blows and the beheading was done; the murderer proudly raised the severed head, like a trophy. He appeared to be in ecstasy. The killing happened so fast it was already over by the time I managed to unfreeze myself and click stop.

I can watch The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and crack questionable jokes. I can watch Saw 1 through 7 while eating popcorn, no sweat. But this stomach-churning video got to me because, despite its low-res crappy quality, (a) it wasn’t make-believe, and (b) I hadn’t even been given a chance to brace myself.

In a way, the graphic evil of Islamist beheading-porn is perfect fodder for Moral Compass, but I can’t bring myself to post it. And even if I did, it would be preceded by multiple warnings regarding what you’re about to see.

I can’t say I understand why this isn’t common courtesy all around the ‘Net.

Anyway, Western governments, in their wisdom, are helping the Syrian rebels with money and weapons, just as America helped the Afghanistan mujahideen fight Russian forces in the 1980s — while the State Department and others stayed wilfully clueless about how that aid would someday be turned against the givers.

Why do we not learn from our mistakes?

It’s undeniable that Syrian citizens who we imagine to be brave freedom fighters, and who we want to help break free from the oppression of Bashar Assad’s brutal government, are often violent fundamentalist sociopaths, no better than the non-fundie goons we are itching for them to replace.

Sometimes, the decent thing to do is nothing. We should achieve what we can through diplomacy, but not spend one more dollar on establishing a future theocratic state that is different from a thugocracy like Iran in name only.

[image D. Kennedy via Body of Truth]