I saw the beheading video today, after following a link from the cam-mafia website.  I’m likely going to make a seperate website for this thing, since it’s too much material for one blog post, honestly.

I read the article linked in the first paragraph, read the comments, then made the following comments myself:

Next weekend on the Mark and Darrell Show (Sunday, 8-Midnight, EST), we’ll be talking about this and other similar topics again… (and we should be entertaining MC Chris, of Adult Swim fame on the show this weekend too, but that’s neither here nor there).

Other than to plug the show, I posted here to comment… Several thoughts, in not any type of order or organisation:

A) The abuse still seems terrible. It doesn’t seem horrific or offensive to me, but it still seems terrible. Allow me to explain: America is supposed to be a civilization. Iraq never made such claims. It is incumbent upon us to set the example as to how a civilization should act, and forcing their citizens into sexual acts is not civil, am I wrong?

2) War is hell. You think this sh!t hasn’t been going on for years and years to worse degrees in every war that’s ever been fought? If you said it hasn’t been going on, you are ignorant then.

III) The world has not matured past the point of needing war. I’m sorry, we are still all human on this planet, and humans have urges to kill, and will do so regularly, and when organised as a nation, they will do so “quasi-legally” in the conventions we call war and conflict. Deal with it, or exit the human race.

D) Would you rather some other country in the world like North Korea or China, countries that don’t even pretend to do things for a just cause, be running war-crazy, or the United States, a country that has to at least come up with a half-assed justifiable reason for doing what they do (thereby limiting what kind of conflicts they can get into).

Listen, I’m not a George Bush supporter. I think he started this war for corrupt reasons, and I think he’s a disgrace to the nation, but no worse than Kerry would be, no worse than Gore would be, no worse the Clinton was, no worse than his father was … (you see where I’m going with this?…)

The world better be counting their fucking lucky stars that America is bound to at least *pretend* they are a civilisation. A country like China, if they had the capability and had a similar thing happen to them what with the beheadings and all, would make the middle east a glass fscking parking lot for all that.

Allow me to plaigerize from Chris Rock’s new standup routine I’ve seen about 50,000 times on HBO lately: “I love America, there’s no place I’d rather be … but you have to look at America a little bit differently. He’s like that uncle that paid your way through college … but molested you.”

Remember, America is the worst country in the world. Except for all the other ones.

Then I watched the video.

I was almost sick after seeing it.  It’s one thing when you watch such a video when you  know it’s Faces of Deat or something.  It’s quite another when the U.S. Gov’t makes claims of it’s authenticity.

I was discussing the article on the #cammafia chatroom on irc.cam-mafia.com, and Prash suggested that it might be a fake.

I went to snopes.com to check out and see if there were any posts about it yet.  Apparently their jury is still out… I went on the discussion forum, and most of the posts were pretty ineffectual for determining one way or the other, except this one:

In the end, it really doesn’t matter, but when this video first aired, I heard on CNN that even though the website this video first aried on stated the murder was carried out by Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi, translators didn’t believe it was him because of the killer’s accent. They said it wasn’t Jordanian. Now U.S. officials seem to be certain that the killer in the video is indeed Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi. My question is, to anyone who has seen this video (I’ve haven’t, just a couple of video frames), does the killer appear to move around as if he has an artificial leg or anything else to indicate he only has one leg, as Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi only has one leg.

So I continue my hunt.  I found some more

Nick Berg, a small telecommunications business owner, spoke to his parents on March 24 and told them he would return home on March 30. But Berg was detained by Iraqi police at a checkpoint in Mosul on March 24. He was turned over to U.S. officials and detained for 13 days.

His father, Michael, said his son wasn’t allowed to make phone calls or contact a lawyer.

FBI agents visited Berg’s parents in West Chester on March 31 and told the family they were trying to confirm their son’s identity. On April 5, the Bergs filed suit in federal court in Philadelphia, contending that their son was being held illegally by the U.S. military. The next day Berg was released. He told his parents he hadn’t been mistreated.

Michael Berg said he blamed the U.S. government for creating circumstances that led to his son’s death. He said if his son hadn’t been detained for so long, he might have been able to leave the country before the violence worsened.

“I think a lot of people are fed up with the lack of civil rights this thing has caused,” he said. “I don’t think this administration is committed to democracy.”

Puts a different spin on things… yes?  He spent an awful lot of time in U.S. Custody.  Interesting.

I found this in an article on CNN:

The Web site said the killing had been carried out by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of an Islamist terrorist group that has claimed responsibility for numerous attacks on coalition forces in Iraq.

The voice on the tape could not be verified as that of al-Zarqawi. CNN staffers familiar with al-Zarqawi’s voice said the voice on the tape did not sound like him.

I will say this: I’m not seeing a whole lot out there suggesting this video is fake.  On the other hand, however, there are two points that Prash and I discovered in our discussion that made us wonder (not to mention the other things I’ve previously quoted in this article) … the beheader’s hand seemed unnaturally white for an Arab, and the camera work was a lot like a lot of snuff films I’ve seen… really shakey work when they started to chop off his head.

I’m still sickened and disturbed by this video, and if it is real, is something it will take America a while to forgive.

/rizzn