So they just set a man on fire, watched him burn to death in a metal cage and filmed it for the world to see.
It’s as if the feral maniacs of ISIL are getting so bored of how easily and freely they can kill people that they’re now resorting to new, more dramatic, methods just to keep themselves entertained. You know, it was said that Roman soldiers eventually got so bored of crucifying people that they started crucifying them upside down. Even so, I doubt the Romans ever burnt people alive.
Muadh al-Kasasbeh, the poor Jordanian air-force pilot so brutally murdered by the Islamic State militants, may be the catalyst for drawing the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan further into the fight against ISIL, with talk currently even including the possibility of ‘boots on the ground’. Just when you’d thought the level of depravity that runs through the Islamic State organisation couldn’t be any more shocking than the mass killings of last year or the cold-blooded beheadings of hostages, they go and raise the bar further.
Why they decided Muadh al-Kasasbeh needed to be killed in so horrific and agonising a manner, I can’t fathom; we can only assume that the ‘brains’ in the operation want to maximise the ‘terror effect’, spreading an even more vivid sense of fear across different parts of the world – this is what we’re capable of, this is what we’re willing to do. What makes it even more callous is that it made no strategic sense; al-Kasabseh was a very valuable hostage who could’ve been used to secure the releases of numerous terrorist or extremist prisoners from Jordanian prisons, particularity as the Jordanian government was emphatically expressing its desire to have al-Kasasbeh released and its willingness to make a deal. If al-Kasasbeh’s murderers thought that killing him in that manner would scare the Jordanians into withdrawing from the air-strikes, it was clearly a misjudgement.
It is also worth noting, however, that Jordan played a prominent, though relatively low key, role in supporting rebels fighting Bashar al-Assad, just like the US, Saudi Arabia, Israel and several other nations did; events like this are, in some ways, blow-back from that policy. If the CIA’s championing of Osama bin Laden and the Mujahideen taught anything it was that it is utter folly to support and deal with terrorists and extremists, thinking it serves your interests at that particular moment in time, because things can always be different tomorrow.
ISIL is a multi-national Frankenstein’s monster created by morally bankrupt international agendas; the question now is whether the ISIL fighters are doing exactly what they were always meant to be doing according to that agenda or whether they have spiraled out of control and run away with their own agenda.
It’s difficult to tell anymore; because so much of what we see playing out on the political stage is mere pantomime. The horrors being inflicted upon the people or Iraq and Syria, or in this instance the tragic Jordanian pilot, aren’t pantomime – those are all too real; but in many cases the leaders and political figures publicly condemning ISIL or calling it a monster that needs to be stopped are the same people who helped it into being. As Bashar Assad himself told Literarni Noviny of the Czech Republic at the beginning of the year; “We have been saying you shouldn’t support terrorism and provide it with a political umbrella, because this will reflect on your countries and your people. They didn’t listen to us.”
Meanwhile the US-led airstrikes against ISIL militants in Iraq and Syria, far from being effective, are apparently actually resulting in ISIL gaining *more* territory! Which raises the question of whether the air-strikes are genuinely intended to cripple ISIL at all. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to believe that anyone is actually trying to defeat the Islamic State militants, despite all the claims by the US, Saudi Arabia and others that they’re ‘at war’ with the militants. Rewind back to last summer and the footage of the ISIL fighters roaming en-masse across the border from Syria into Iraq with no opposition and then the absolute bloodbath that followed in Iraqi cities and towns; the overwhelming impression from all of that, almost as it was happening, was that this transition was far too easy and that it had the sense of a ‘stagedness’ to it, as though they’d been given permission by someone to proceed with an agreed programme.
All the subsequent information, week after week, has simply served to reinforce that perception; that what we’re seeing play out is essentially a pantomime, albeit a very bloody, nasty one, with scores of Iraqi citizens having been either murdered or forced into mass exodus from their homes and communities. The corporate media is complicit in that pantomime, declining to do any real research into the roots of ISIL, the nature of the conflicts in Syria and Iraq or the probable involvement of various foreign powers and agencies in bringing this apocalyptic situation into being. Several of the apparent execution videos we’ve seen so far have been demonstrably proven faked (though I’m not at all making that claim about the horrific death of Muadh al-Kasasbeh), only adding to the growing perception of a staged war (again, albeit one with real victims).
This is what Syria’s President Bashar Assad had to say about the US-led air-strikes in an interview in December. “Terrorism cannot be destroyed from the air and you cannot achieve results on the ground without land forces who know the geographical details of the regions and move in tandem with the airstrikes. That’s why, and after two months of the alliance’s airstrikes, there are no tangible results on the ground in that direction. And that’s why saying that the alliance’s airstrikes are helping us is not true. Had these airstrikes been serious and effective, I would have said that they would be certainly useful to us. But we are the ones fighting the battles against ISIS on the ground and we haven’t felt any change, particularly now that Turkey is extending direct support to ISIS in those regions.”
In the meantime, life inside the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant continues unabated, with militants recording and sharing much of their activity for the world to see (like an apocalyptic version of MTV Cribs), offering a taste of what life is like in this prospective ‘Caliphate’; gay men being thrown to their deaths from towers, women accused of adultery being stoned to death, and more young men being crucified in public. Oh, and of course a (fellow Muslim) Jordanian pilot being burnt alive in a metal cage. What an extraordinarily psychopathic gang of people we’ve managed to create here in the 21st century.
Meanwhile this helpful info-graphic demonstrates the undeniable similarities between ISIL’s barbaric, medieval ‘caliphate’ and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, proving in essence that even if they differ in their actions in many regards, they share a similar religious interpretation. Which shouldn’t be surprising, given that the root of the Salafi, Takfiri and ultimately Wahhabi idealogies that inspire Islamist terror and intolerance emanate from within Saudi Arabia.
At some point ISIL will be stopped in its tracks, either through major concerted bombing or through a ground war of some description; that’s assuming that ISIL itself isn’t simply being used as a mechanism for triggering a Third World War, which is a view held by some concerning what’s actually going on – in which case things are going to get a lot worse before they get better.
But once the rank-and-file of ISIL are either in prisons or dead, whatever Iraq, Syria and the Middle East even looks like by then, George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and the Neo-Con Republican government that invaded Iraq needs to be tried for war crimes, along with Tony Blair and every other senior decision-maker involved in the destabilisation – merely for corporate interests – of Iraq and the Middle East. Some day the American military-industrial complex and intelligence community, particularly the CIA, will also have to be called into account for its activities in what will have to be a 21st century Nuremberg-type process, with Israel, Saudi Arabia and several other states also having to answer for the apocalyptic chaos they’ve played their part in creating.
In the meantime, the newly announced plan for US troops to be sent to train Syrian rebels to fight Islamic State would seem to require being watched closely; that is to observe if those rebels do end up fighting ISIL specifically or whether they’re actually directed against Assad and the Syrian government. As it is barely a secret or ‘conspiracy theory’ anymore that both US agencies and the Saudi state were involved (among other foreign entities) with unleashing the murderous rogue element into Syria in the first place, the legitimacy of this new training operation understandably has to be questioned. Along with everything else, it seems.