"Whether the U.S. functionally created ISIS or merely inspired it, its popularity was a foregone conclusion. You cannot blow people up with impunity, even if you’re as “exceptional” as Obama proclaims the U.S. to be; there will be blowback…"Blowback has arrived in the form of the beheading of several journalists by a group called ISIS. Popular opinion in the United States is overwhelmingly in favor of military strikes against the persons perpetrating these acts, 88% in a survey cited in today’s press. The idea that we can locate and strike those individuals with drones is preposterous, but reason is not a part of the discussion. There is no discussion at all…"
Blowback by RAZFX
Yes, I agree that the two things (Drone strikes and beheadings) are not the same. The execution of someone we assume innocent of any wrongful acts, using a knife and in person, is quite different from the execution of total strangers, by remote control, from thousands of miles away, using advanced technology which has, and is meant to have, extraordinary violent properties.Also see The War Nerd: The long, twisted history of beheadings as propaganda
People who have been victims of drone attacks and family members of some killed with the missiles fired from drones have testified before Congressional committees with only a handful of legislators in attendance. Presumably, the 429 members of the House had better things to do. There was no Senator George McGovern to remind them that “the walls of this Chamber reek with blood.”
Victims explain that the drones can be heard hovering, sometimes for long periods, before they fire their missiles. Those on the ground can sometimes take shelter where they can but nothing is of much use under that assault. People in the fields, tending crops, playing with grandchildren….
It must have been damned annoying, being an IS fighter, bouncing over the plains in your Toyota Hilux, as the terrified Iraqi Army forces vanished ahead of you in a cloud of panicky dust. Quite a rush for the mix of AQI survivors and European-Muslim war tourists who fill IS’s ranks.
And then all of a sudden, you go from the dashing light-armor knights of the Iraqi plain to the biggest, most vulnerable targets imaginable—thin-skinned vehicles crawling over a completely flat, treeless plain while the drones buzz overhead, armed with Hellfire missiles, just waiting for authorization from a desk jockey in suburban Virginia before they release a weapon designed to destroy much bigger, tougher, Soviet tanks. Suddenly, you, with your Sunni Lawrence of Arabia war-tourist dreams, are nothing but a bug getting zapped by an automated pest-control device.
It’s insulting. And the kind of young men who join IS are romantics, of a sort. They might not mind dying in the abstract—most guys don’t, at that age, until they find out what it feels like to get shot in the stomach—but they hate the idea of dying in such an unchivalrous way.
So, they take their revenge the best way they can: With a video camera, a hostage, and a short, sharp knife. Why a short knife, by the way? Why not use an ax, if you’re going to behead someone? Because with a short knife, you have to saw the head off slowly. It’s how you kill a sheep. It’s degrading to the victim.
Beheading, done with a sharp, heavy ax or sword, was traditionally an aristocratic death in Europe; when Dr. Louis invented the guillotine, he was extending human dignity, as he saw it, by making a noble and quick death by decapitation available to the masses—a huge improvement on hanging, which was usually the “yank on a rope til he stops moving” kind, not the advanced calculation of the Victorian hangman you see in movies. The Parisians loved the new machine; they had a sweet little name for death by guillotine: “Putting your head on the windowsill.” And it was that easy—lay your head down and off it rolled!
But decapitation by knife is a very different matter…