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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The ISIS murders

In the past few months, ISIS has proven itself the most bloodthirsty, savage group imaginable. Their horrific string of murders -- it's hard to call beheadings "executions" -- culminated yesterday with the burning to death of the Jordanian pilot.

ISIS has not restricted itself to killing enemy combatants, either. So far they've murdered aid workers and journalists as well. They killed a group of Iraqi youths for having watched a soccer game, and threw two homosexuals off a tower to their deaths.

My instincts vis-a-vis the Middle East have always been to stay away, and let them kill each other. But ISIS has killed every foreigner they can lay their hands on, including Americans, Brits, and now Japanese.

Someone showed me the video of the pilot being burned to death. His captors put him in a metal cage, sprinkled phosphorus or some other flammable agent over the floor of his cage, and then lit a long "fuse" of the stuff from about thirty yards away. The fire slowly made its way to the cage, and gradually lit up the entire cage, covering the poor pilot in flames. You could hear his screams as he covered his face with his hands and jumped around, slowly roasting.

At that point I had to stop watching.

It was hard not to react to that video by saying, "Let's just nuke 'em all."

I'm not suggesting that's the right course.

Frankly, Obama's drones have already killed upwards of 300 innocent children over the past few years. And killing even one innocent child is worse than killing an enemy combatant like the Jordanian pilot.

Still, the brutality of that video, and the evident joy that ISIS takes in all of their brutal killings makes one want to see a similar fate befall them.

I'd probably still vote against more rather than less US involvement in the Middle East. But if we do decide to bomb ISIS out of existence, I'll be less disapproving about it now that I've seen that video.


Steven said...

They took sex slaves from the yazidi women too, arguing a scriptural justification.

They are the most malignant form of Islamism imaginable.

I wonder if they would be in the position they are now if we hadn't invaded Iraq in 2003 and supported the forces against Assad in Syria.

We have got it wrong often but ISIS must be defeated, one way or another.

John Craig said...

Steven --[
The US is responsible for destabilizing the entire region by undermining every stabilizing force there: Hussein in Iraq, Mubarak in Egypt, now Assad in Syria, and even Gaddafi in Libya. None of them were/are great human beings, all ere corrupt dictators, but they were at least people we could deal with. The "Arab Spring," an expression you don't hear anymore, has basically turned into the Muslim extremist jihad.

I agree about ISIS. And "malignant" is the right word.

Steven said...

Yeah good point. I never saw them all listed like that but they were all ordinary dictators or maybe you could say secular dictators. They were brutal tyrants who ruled by fear and tortured people but they were also strongmen who kept the Islamist forces in check and kept order and unity.

Its obviously a mistake in the Arab world to think overthrowing the bad guy will lead to a better situation. It has led to division, violence and unleashed the worse guys.

I watched the Egyptian spring quite closely. They got all the way to free elections and if it wasn't for so many Islamist voters, they might have had a chance. The difference between the secularists and the Islamists was too great. Plus those Islamists aren't truly committed to the idea of democracy; its just a way to get into power. They believe in sharia.

John Craig said...

Steven --
You just put your finger on the crux of the problem: the extremist Muslims don't want democracy, don't believe in it, and it has no place in their world. So how do you deal with people like that?

There's not going to be any good outcome in that part of the world. Iraq will probably end up getting divided in three, and then the fighting will just continue among the three new entities, over tribal disputes etc.

Steven said...

They need to stop having babies with their cousins too but that's another problem. Its a crazy but interesting world we live in.

Anonymous said...

Your description was enough.

That is a truly awful.


Anonymous said...

The ISIS is an evil, evil group of thugs. I can't stomach some of the news stories, making me feel ill, angry, wanting retribution. Only psychopaths can commit these crimes and have zero remorse over their actions. In the end, these ISIS members will have a day of reckoning, ending up where they belong. It would be great if the leaders of the middle east would unite and put a stop to the ISIS. Innocent people are being murdered by these evil thugs.


John Craig said...

Birdie --
It's almost impossible to hear of these incredibly nasty killings and not react by wanting retribution. I'd say your reaction (and mine) are normal.