I recommend watching the Sky News interview with the ISIS defector who witnessed the murder of Japanese journalist Kenji Goto, who was killed by Mohammed Emwazi. The defector’s job was to provide hostages with reassurances, in order to keep them calm. They would do many mock executions, complete with speeches, so that the hostage would get used to the routine. When the time came they would tell them it was just another rehearsal. That is the reason the hostages look so pliant in the videos. They have no idea what’s coming. Even more callously, he said they provided Goto with an Arab name, and that when they used it he was visibly calmed. Think on that.
Chilling details, in service of a cinematic snuff film, propaganda made by sadists for a totalitarian ideology that is insane, that is genocidal, that is expansionist. They know this gore transfixes the world. They know also it draws in recruits. The teenagers who flee the freedoms of the West for the killing fields of Syria lap these videos up like other teenagers fap away at porn.
As Michael Weiss and Hasan Hasan put it their excellent book about ISIS:
Western sensationalism has perversely contributed to the lure of ISIS as much as it has to its lurid appeal to the young and disaffected. Stories about pretty, middle-class teenage Austrian girls going off to fight with and marry takfiris – and copycats who are stopped en route before they can reach Syria – continue to draw headlines in the manner of Charles Manson’s latest nuptials do. People are fascinated by the psychopathic spectacle of ISIS, and especially by those they see as “like them” but who are are so drawn to it that they abandon seemingly comfortable lives in the West to jihadism.
The level of cruelty. The calculation. The coldness. This is the reason I long ago lost any patience with the alarming number of apologists among our intelligentsia. Those equivocators who would rather talk about the crusades, colonialism, orientalism, foreign policy, alienation, Islamophobia, Israel, who would rather talk about anything but Islamism and its countless victims – Syrian, Iraqi, Shia, Christian, Yazidi, Kurd, journalists, aid workers. People like Kenji Goto. When ‘Jihadi John’ was unmasked our airwaves were filled with voices calling Mohammed Emwazi “beautiful” and blaming his barbarity on the British security services. No such kind words were offered for his victims.
It’s hard to imagine anything more fucked up than that.