“That’s my boy”: ISIS militant proud of son holding up a severed head, ISIS stones two women for adultery

August 11, 2014 • 11:23 am

The second episode of the VICE series on ISIS (now called the “Islamic State”) dealt with the brainwashing that terrorist group imposes on children under its control, a true form of child abuse. Now the CBC News has reported a particularly reprehensible episode. A jihadist from ISIS has tweeted a picture of his son holding up the severed head of a soldier—with the approving comment, “That’s my boy!” The kid was apparently raised in Australia and is now being turned into a young thug.

From the CBC report:

An Australian newspaper on Monday published a photograph of a child it said was the son of an Australian convicted terrorist holding aloft the severed head of a Syrian soldier.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio that the photograph was further evidence of “just how barbaric” the Islamic State group is.

The Australian newspaper reported that the photograph of terrorist Khaled Sharrouf’s son, who was raised in Sydney, was posted on Twitter by his proud father.

“That’s my boy!” Sharrouf apparently posted beneath the image that was taken in the northern Syrian city of Raqqa, the capital of what has been declared that an Islamic Caliphate by the Islamic State, the newspaper reported.

The child, who is not named, appears to be younger than 10 years old.

Sharrouf used his brother’s passport to leave Australia last year with his wife and three sons to fight in Syria and Iraq. The Australian government had banned him from leaving the country because of the terrorism threat he posed.

I won’t post the photo here, but the Sydney Morning Herald, in an article that gives more information, has a picture with the kid’s face and the severed head pixillated; if you want to see it, go to this link and look halfway down. The Herald notes this:

The photo shows a boy, wearing a cap, checked pants and a blue shirt, struggling with both arms to hold up the head of the slain soldier.

The caption reads: “That’s my boy!”

It is one of a several photos posted by Sharrouf, who security agencies believe travelled to Syria with his family.

Another photo shows Sharrouf also holding the decapitated head, while in another photograph, Sharrouf is dressed in camouflage fatigues and posing with his three young sons who are holding guns.

And that picture I can show (from the CBC):

khaled-sharrouf
Sharrouf also posted photos of himself and young armed boys believed to be his sons in front of the ISIS flag. (The Australian/Twitter)

Curiously, Catholic Online has a post with very graphic photos of ISIS militants posing with the severed heads of their captives. It’s gruesome, so don’t go there unless you can stand it. (The site is here.) I do look at these things, simply to inculcate myself with the true horror of what is going on. Hearing about it is one thing, seeing it another.

In yet more depressing news from the region, The Associated Press reported  two days ago that two women accused of adultery were stoned to death by ISIS jihadis. This is undoubtedly part of the imposition of Sharia law that is the topic of the third VICE News documentary on The Islamic State. (I’ll put it up tomorrow.)

Am I wrong, or is the world going to hell right now?

h/t: Mark

 

122 thoughts on ““That’s my boy”: ISIS militant proud of son holding up a severed head, ISIS stones two women for adultery

    1. NO! A thousand times, NO!

      The solution to horrific evil is not unimaginably worse evil.

      We must also keep in mind that it is very likely that it is not within our power to make things better — that anything we might try to do will only make things worse.

      First, do no harm.

      b&

          1. But the _Robocop_ reboot plays exactly to this scenario: ED-209s and smaller humanoid bots, as well as drones, able to take our individual insurgents as part of a U.S. peacekeeping force …

            /@

          2. The Internet reviewer Confused Matthew has pointed out that Terminator 2 at least has the *partial* lesson that untargeted violence is wrong. Ahnie’s terminator is told by the kid that he cannot just shoot someone, and the kid – a good for nothing – tells him he shouldn’t. And so on.

      1. Agreed. If some consortium of western military powers were to simply level Iraq and Syria then the poor suffering victims of ISIS would just become the poor suffering victims of western military over-reach. This problem is like a candle burning at both ends. Islamic fundamentalism is a global problem, one that will assuredly require a military response from time to time. However, in an era of exorbitant military spending in the west, a military response can start to look like a forgone conclusion. When you have the best, most expensive hammer in the world, every problem eventually starts to look like a nail.

        1. Why can’t education be perceived as the hammer? Education is hard. That’s why. Humans hate doing work, especially work that requires thinking.

          When ignorance is all there is, its impossible to motivate people to learn.

        2. While I most certainly agree that whole “nuke & pave” mentality is horrible as it punishes the victims of ISIS as much as the perpetrators, I also think the view that there could be a purely nonviolent solution to this incredibly naive. “Education” or is not going work the hardcore jihadis at this point if it ever would have.

          1. What I find not only naive but incredibly hubristic is the notion that we actually are capable of doing something to help and therefore are obliged to do something, anything, so long as it’s not nothing.

            Considering the overwhelming evidence of American incompetence in foreign affairs in the Middle East, you’ve got an impossible task just to overcome the null hypothesis. But, never mind that — you have true faith in American exceptionalism! From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli! Blaze dem guns! Hoo-rah! Teach those brown-skinned folks a lesson, put ’em in their place. Show ’em who’s boss! That’ll learn them!

            b&

            1. Wow Ben you are really off the rails here. Honestly I have lost some respect for you with your response. I have nothing but contempt for “American Exceptionalism” but because I expressed the opinion that there is very unlikely to be a purely nonviolent solution to this you assume I mean US should bomb them to oblivion or something. WTF? I didn’t even advocate direct US involvement – I just stated that fanatics are not likely to be repelled by persuasion. Hopefully it is the Iraqis themselves (Kurds, Shia, and even Sunni non-extremists) but it is ludicrous to believe they will be able to do this by purely non violent means.

  1. It’s Heart of Darkness/Apocalypse Now level horror.

    This is the end
    Beautiful friend
    This is the end
    My only friend, the end

    Of our elaborate plans, the end
    Of everything that stands, the end
    No safety or surprise, the end
    I’ll never look into your eyes…again

    Can you picture what will be
    So limitless and free
    Desperately in need…of some…stranger’s hand
    In a…desperate land

    Lost in a Roman…wilderness of pain
    And all the children are insane
    All the children are insane
    Waiting for the summer rain, yeah

  2. “Am I wrong, or is the world going to hell right now?”

    The Islamic part of the world is going to hell, not all of it.

      1. A danish imam said more or less the same a few weeks ago.

        When asked for an explanation his reply was that he only meant zionist jews.

        We’ve got a looong way to go, baby!

          1. Interesting since the VICE videos point out several times that IS members hate Europeans a lot. I got the impression more than Americans. I had no idea anyone on earth could be disliked more than Americans.

            1. Not to go martyr, but quite a few danes learned that lesson a few years back.

              Damn they were pissed! 😀

            2. I think this is because a lot of them are from Europe. They simply hate “where they are from” because “it’s full of infidels”.

              Watching the first two episodes they really do seem to hate everything and everyone that is not themselves. Europe, the USA, Turkey, Assad’s branch of Islam, the rest of Iraq’s branch of Islam… They didn’t even get round to namechecking the Jews or the Yazidi (yet).

        1. I don’t think so…

          Returning jihadists pose a threat to Germany

          A Salafist from Saxony, now based in Syria, has called for attacks on Germany. Authorities are alarmed as more and more supporters of the jihadist “Islamic State” plan their return to Europe.

          http://www.dw.de/returning-jihadists-pose-a-threat-to-germany/a-17840568?maca=en-RSS_en_Taptu_top_stories-8813-xml-m%20rss

          “Now, he has once again put German and American security authorities on high alert. In his latest terror threat, Silvio K. has openly called for attacks on Germany. In a letter seen by Germany’s Funke Media Group, he calls on “warriors of Allah” to fight against unbelievers in Germany, to “strike a blow they will never forget.”

          1. This is what scares the crap out of me. These guys returning home & wreaking havoc. The child in yesterday’s post was from Belgium, this one is from Australia.

        1. Really? I’ve never read anything Sam Harris has written, unless it’s been quoted here. Can you point me to his similar quote?

          It’s a common enough sentiment.

          1. First in The End Of Faith, but he’s repeated it in other places. He’s said (more or less) that he regards radical Islam as the most dangerous religion around today because it combines a medieval mindset with 21st century weapons. If you’ve never read anything he’s written, I strongly recommend at least checking out his blog. I don’t always agree with him, but his posts are generally thought-provoking. The End of Faith is also worth reading.

  3. If the world doesn’t stand behind Israel, who is fighting in all their might also for the rest of the western world, yes, the rest of us will be entering the hell.

    It is scaring.

    1. The answer (as an anthropologist) is no. I have studied conflict and the role of conflict in the evolution of complex societies. There are no exceptions that conflict was a prime mover in the formation of what we call civilization. And it all started for that part of the world in what is now the Middle East. The walls of the first occupation at Jericho were 16 feet thick.

        1. I don’t think it’s that simple. Brains do complex things and pacification would be equally complex…wait now I’m reminded of what happened on Miranda. Yay for science fiction!

  4. Yes it’s going to hell. And rest assured that any military action the US is taking “for humanitarian reasons” will also help give carte blanche to Putin in Ukraine where he will also be doing it “for humanitarian reasons”.

    Note that I actually do support military intervention in this case, but am aware it may lead to other, unfortunate consequences.

  5. The non-gruesome pictures of kids in uniforms gesturing and holding guns, flags, signs, remind me of similar pictures of American kids of neo-Nazis, KKK, etc. Those alone are enough to turn my stomach.

    There was a time when Americans happily posed with lynching victims. It’s a chilling reminder that people like that can be from anywhere and makes me wonder who I might know that would act like that if circumstances were different.

    1. I remember way back during the cold war, the media used to show images of kindergartners in Russian saluting the Hammer and sickle. Socking to see the indoctrination! Then we watched Romper Room where toddlers saluted the stars and stripes. What a relief. Subtle forms of tribalism.

      1. I’m also not a fan of tribal indoctrination, but I wouldn’t equate the Stars and Stripes with the IS flag, swastikas, white sheets, assault rifles, etc. Maybe the Confderate battle flag, though.

    2. Yes. I often wonder how thick is the veneer of civilized society, and what it would take to plunge us into our own hell. Of all the scary things in the world, few chill me like the rabid mob.

      1. It is a lot thinner than you would expect.

        Google “Stanford prison experiment” to see how quickly people can unravel without the context of a normally functioning civil society….

  6. This is like a historical novel on medieval Europe being depicted graphically. Heads on pikes–

    I’m definitely not a person who advocates war for any reason and I really outspoken about the use of drones in the Middle East (or anywhere).

    I now hope that they unleash every single drone in our inventory on the people who are doing these despicable deeds, reserving the nastiest ones for those who are involving their children. NO QUARTER!

    1. For shame! You would respond to the indiscriminate killing of innocents by killing even more innocents even more indiscriminately? “NO QUARTER!” is the rallying cry of terrorists hellbent on vengeance, not of civilized people trying to salvage what they might from the midst of tragedy.

      How on Earth can outrage at seeing young children taught to hate and kill cause you to hate and wish to kill those very same children!?

      b&

      1. I don’t think that “Vikki” endorses killing children. Her comment suggests that she’s angry and that her anger is directed at “the people who are doing these despicable deeds”.

        You are against harm for harm, and, in principle, that sounds good. But what will it take to stop ISIS? It would be remarkable if harm weren’t needed.

        1. I don’t think that “Vikki” endorses killing children.

          Nevertheless, that is exactly what she did. If you don’t realize that carpet bombing the Caliphate with drone strikes will result in massive and dire civilian casualties, you don’t know nearly enough to comment productively on the matter. And if you don’t care that that’s what would happen, you’re every bit as evil as the Caliphate itself.

          But what will it take to stop ISIS?

          What on Earth makes you think that it’s within our power to stop them — or, at least, to stop them without unleashing an even worse terror upon the world?

          It would be remarkable if harm weren’t needed.

          …and this doesn’t give you pause…why?

          If your friend was being stung by a bee, would you use a shotgun to rescue her from the bee?

          First, do no harm!

          b&

          1. But drones are precisely invented to avoid the need for carpet bombing, and Vikki is not suggesting that form of bombing.

            Yes, even drones make civil casualties- but far less than 30000 feet B2B Lancer bombing or even artillery fire (unless the enemy is concentrated in a discrete area, which ISIS mostly isn’t).

            In the end you have to wonder which would take the most casualties, our drones or ISIS’ AK-74s.

            1. But drones are precisely invented to avoid the need for carpet bombing

              Maybe that was the intention, but it hasn’t stopped the indiscriminate nature of airstrikes. fewer than 2% of drone casualties in Pakistan have been high-profile “targets,” and hundreds of children and civilians have died. The rest have been accused of being “militants,” but the were never even given notice, let alone a trial or other form of due process.

              And that’s just Pakistan!

              In the end you have to wonder which would take the most casualties, our drones or ISIS’ AK-74s.

              It’s not their small arms that makes the Caliphate such a threat. It’s their heavy artillery, tanks, and missiles that make them dangerous.

              And you know where those weapons were made?

              Right here in the good ol’ USA.

              Just as you’re advocating we do now for the Kurds, we armed the Iraqis. The Iraqis let the Caliphate have the weapons, and it’s only because we gave the weapons to the Iraqis in the first place that this situation is as dire as it is.

              And you seriously think we’re even remotely qualified at this point to somehow undo all the messes we keep making when we try to undo the last mess?

              b&

              1. Just as you’re advocating we do now for the Kurds

                Ho-ho, I didn’t advocate that. Any strike should be UN or NATO-driven. Neither did I deny that “we” supplied them those weapons or condone that; it’s just something we have to put up with. As to the threat level of different forms of armory, the heavy tanks and artillery are very useful in area conquest, but also the easiest to spot and destroy by way of drones. It’s the missiles and hand weapons that are impossible to take out indiscriminately, and ultimately are the largest threat to appeasement.

                The upside of drones is that they’re nigh impossible to steal.

                That drone strikes in Pakistan were misguidedly used in an attempt to hit very particular persons, doesn’t mean they have to be here.

                And lastly, maybe we’re not “qualified” to undo anything, but we may well be forced to do something. Before it turns its ugly head towards Kurdistan, Turkey, …

              2. Any strike should be UN or NATO-driven.

                NATO has no business in this unless the Caliphate threatens to attack Turkey. That would then be the end of the Caliphate’s ability to project force — assuming they even manage to hold themselves together politically long enough for that. Frankly, I really don’t see that happening.

                If you can get the UN, including Russia and China, to agree to a course of action, I’d be more likely than not to approve.

                b&

          2. I’ll leave it to Vikki to say whether she endorses killing children or not.

            I wasn’t defending using drone strikes. I think that Vikki’s comment clearly had to do with her understandable anger. It was exaggerated, yes, but it is still understandable. Her basic point seemed to be that the situation is so extreme (and it sure looks that way) that only retributive justice will work. I can see something in that, though it does give me pause.

            I asked my question earnestly. I too dislike violence as a means of justice. Vendettas never seem to end. But I can’t help thinking that sometimes violence is necessary. I assumed that you had a better solution than fighting back when you shamed others for posting their anger in violent terms. I’m open to reading it.

            I wouldn’t use a shotgun to rescue someone from a bee. But is ISIS just a bee?

            1. But is ISIS just a bee?

              That question presumes that the Caliphate is capable of projecting force outside of the Middle East. What reason could you possibly have to think that that should be so?

              b&

              1. Projecting force, at least of a limited sort, is certainly possible. Look at 9/11. What really worries me is nuclear weapons. These would be hard for ISIS to deliver right now, but note that several Islamist states are probably capable of building them right now. If ISIS becomes the caliphate, in 10 or 20 years they might be in a position to build and deliver such weapons. Like mixing alcohol with guns at a Texas gun show.

              2. The notion that the Caliphate could possibly launch a nuclear attack on a western nation is absurd, and the suggestion that war crimes are called for today so that we might avoid the possibility a generation from now of a belligerent nuclear superpower…is utterly bizarre and completely reprehensible.

                b&

              3. Wait, Ben. Who’s calling for war crimes. All I said was I fear that in the future terrorists could manage to threaten Western nations using nuclear weapons. The Islamists have an absolutist view of reality which makes me think nothing is off the table for them. They could inflict grave harm in the name of Allah as they have in the past only worse.

              4. Because the Caliphate has huge financial reserves from the banks they’ve captured and robbed and from wealthy supporters. They also have a stated aim of carrying the fight to the West. There are literally thousands of people with them who are from Western countries and have Western passports. The primary aim of the Caliphate is to spread their brand of Islam throughout the world, and they are fanatical in that aim. Of course you are correct that long-term they won’t be able to do this, but there could be a helluva lot of 9/11s in the meantime.

                I abhor the violence, no matter who is committing it. At the same time I can’t see any other way of stopping these people. If you have a suggestion I for one would welcome it. In stopping ISIL there will be collateral damage, which is awful. It is our responsibility to minimize that as much as possible. However, ultimately, it is ISIL who put the innocents in harm’s way, not those trying to stop them.

                I agree, ‘first do no harm’. Trouble is, the harm to innocents is already being done and I can’t watch that without feeling sick and wanting to help.

                With people like ISIL, appeasement doesn’t work. It was Churchill’s solution that worked ultimately, not Chamberlain’s.

              5. Because the Caliphate has huge financial reserves from the banks they’ve captured and robbed and from wealthy supporters.

                I very, very, very much doubt that.

                Any assets they might have had in Western banks have certainly long since been seized.

                Any assets they might have in other Islamic states are either in Western-friendly states such as Saudi Arabia and thus have already been seized…or they’re valued in local currencies that can’t even remotely be considered “huge.”

                They also have a stated aim of carrying the fight to the West.

                So? North Korea has a stated aim of annihilating the US — and they actually do have nuclear weapons. Why are you not calling for preemptive massacres there?

                There are literally thousands of people with them who are from Western countries and have Western passports.

                If the Commie Pinko sleeper agents under every bed backed by the full might of the only other superpower, the Soviet Union, couldn’t do squat, I very much doubt that we need worry about the current boogeymen.

                Of course you are correct that long-term they won’t be able to do this, but there could be a helluva lot of 9/11s in the meantime.

                Not a chance. Any sort of successful sustained attack on the West would result in exactly the sort of bloody retaliation you’re preemptively drooling over — and, besides. As horrific as 9/11 was, all it did was, for one month, make flying as deadly and expensive as commuting by car.

                I abhor the violence, no matter who is committing it. At the same time I can’t see any other way of stopping these people. If you have a suggestion I for one would welcome it.

                Demonstrate that we can stop the Caliphate without turning into worse monsters ourselves, and I’m open to considering it. But there are so many generations of hard empirical evidence that any attempts to interfere will only make things worse that I literally can’t imagine what you might think you have in mind that isn’t just more of the same.

                With people like ISIL, appeasement doesn’t work.

                Who said anything about appeasement? What on Earth gave you the impression that I’m suggesting we try to bribe the Caliphate?

                No, I’m simply suggesting that we first do no harm. That might mean doing nothing whatsoever, but we can very reasonably help with airdrops of water, food, and medical supplies to the displaced Kurds. We can offer to broker a cease fire and assist with peace negotiations. We can certainly bomb the shit out of any attempts by the Caliphate to expand into the territories of any of our allies who ask for our help.

                But pour yet more gasoline on the conflagration? And you have the nerve to claim you abhor violence?

                Trouble is, the harm to innocents is already being done and I can’t watch that without feeling sick and wanting to help.

                Wanting to do something does not mean that you’re capable of doing something, and doing anything for the sake of doing something is about as evil as evil gets.

                If you really agreed to first do no harm, you would understand this and you’d be as horrified as I am at the suggestions of those like you that, because we can SMASH! we therefore must SMASH!

                b&

              6. I don’t have a reason for thinking what you say that I think. My question didn’t presume that. You assumed that I meant that. My points were that ISIS is not a bee and, therefore, that your analogy didn’t settle anything.

          3. And you suggest what, exactly? To have everyone in the world stand by and do nothing? Passivity won’t end this. Won’t even help. In fact, I’m reminded of Gandhi saying that if Nazis came to Nepal they should use only peaceful and passive resistance. While that may have worked on the British, Hitler would have just lined them all up and shot them.

            Or put another way, if a run away trolley was about to hit 5 people, but there was a switch next to you to make the trolley change tracks and hit just one person instead, would you do it? Would you sacrifice one in order to save five? Utilitarianism, in other words.

          4. Also, your analogy falls short. “If your friend was being stung by a bee, would you use a shotgun to rescue her from the bee? ”

            It’s more like if a bear grabbed hold of my friends foot and it was dragging her into the woods. Also, this bear is a known man-eater and gets stronger with every passing year, even teaching its young to be man-eaters. I would probably risk shooting my friend’s foot to get the bear.

      2. I was listening to a show while driving today about “just wars”. Interesting. This is it here. It got a little boring or me, but I kept thinking about the Roman idea that war was necessary to ensure peace and I wonder if we in the West are like the new Rome.

        1. There might be something to that, but remember Steven Pinker’s research. Maybe war has been “necessary” but someday…

        2. I’d say we’ve got “empire” stamped on our foreheads — at least, the US. There’s also some distinct signs that the empire is on its last legs…the big question is whether the decline will be slow and somewhat graceful, like the British Empire, or a spectacular implosion, like the Roman Empire, or maybe a bit of both, like the Soviet Empire.

          b&

    2. I think you have to be realistic. Doing nothing can sometimes cause great harm. Unfortunately, we are morally driven to make these difficult, bloody, decisions on the merits of each case. You can’t realistically take up an ideology like pacifism, or first do no harm, and hide behind it.

      1. +1. Well said, thank you.

        I would add this: Did you know that surgeons dealing with a possible case of appendicitis may sometimes perform an unneeded operation? Despite the risks of a surgery, they err on the side of caution because a ruptured appendix is so much more riskier and leads to major problems, even death, down the road. They may do some initial or incidental harm, but they save more lives.

    1. Thank you Woof for posting this link to the RUDE PUNDIT. I read his website M-F.
      His language and phrases/terms are outrageous, often hilariously so, and spot on correct, IMO. Please, everyone, hit the link above and read his short essay. Sometimes bad things have to happen to bad (evil) people. This ISIS situation seems to be one of those times.

  7. In another web site forum someone posted an article on ISIS executing large numbers of women and children.

    Accompanying the article was a photo apparently taken by ISIS – a close up photo of a young boy (maybe 3 or 4 years old?) at the end of a circle of ISIS gun muzzles pointed at his face, apparently just before execution.

    That photo, the helpless, confused look on that boy, went beyond deeply saddening to traumatizing. Just glimpsing it was toxic. I can’t imagine having to deal with what people see in wars. No wonder there is post traumatic stress syndrome.

    1. I fail to understand how Christians just do not hang up their beliefs when they recognize this stuff comes from religion. It is all bad. An endorsement of any part of it, is a tacit endorsement of all of it.

      Likewise, what makes a Christian ethical is the same thing as what makes a Muslim ethical: good manners and obeying secularly derived laws.

  8. An interesting side effect of the ISIS phenomenon is the number of western-educated muslims who seem overly eager to join the fray. So, they live here peacefully in America, Europe or Australia and at the sight of bloodshed and terror, they suddenly pack their bags and leave to take part. Forgive me if this further erodes my trust that there is such a thing as moderate Islam.

    But the best is yet to come; many of them may keep their passports and return one day, and may all sorts of nonexistent deities save our imaginary souls…

  9. I remember nearly two decades ago seeing a pictorial account of the Russian Revolution in the University bookstore. Flipping thru it, I was riveted by one picture of a bunch of peasants/serfs standing around their landlord, who was impaled on a pike, eyes wide open – the whole landlord, not just his head. It left an indelible impression (I didn’t buy the book, but in a way wish I had written the title down).

    Then, when Reilly Ace of Spies started running on PBS, with the ineffably sad Shostakovich theme music, I would invariably start to think of that picture, and then the tears would really start.

    And then there was that more recent incident where Russian troops quartered (dismembered) a Chechen rebel by attaching her four limbs to military vehicles “for the morale of the troops,” if I recall the report correctly.

    The point of all this, I guess, is that this kind of thing seems to lurk close to the surface of the human condition.

  10. According to Art. 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights everyone has the right:

    to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

    So I wish these people all the best on their journey of death and mayhem.

    Islam is happiest when its subjects are poor, uneducated and uncivilised. Islam doesn’t want and doesn’t need globalisation. The closer Muslims are to civilisation the further away they are from their god.

    Muslims might finally figure out that they are better off without Islam. But, until that time, they have every right to behave they way they do.

      1. Why should the west intervene at all? Let them have what they so desperately want.

        The entire Muslim world is getting worked up into a lather now that a Caliphate has been declared – and they are ecstatic.

        That blood will flow is part of the bargain.

        Let them have their fun.

        1. I don’t think that’s the most ethical solution. Sounds to me like a God who got things terribly wrong, but then sat back and watched the inevitable suffering.
          I’m still convinced that we cannot get ourselves off the hook by spouting slogans or clever evasions. You have to deal with reality like seasoned diplomats. Look for opportunities to improve things. Don’t wish for a silver bullet.

          1. Wot? If The West™ touches it then we will only get the blame. They’ll turn around and say, “look, you turned us into savages.”

            Let them ferment in their own mess. Let them own it. It’s all theirs.

            1. Tempting, but no. What’s the saying? If you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen. Foreign affairs is torture. But do it we must. You’ve got to wrestle with these nuts weather you want to or not.

              1. And then what? They will continue blaming the west when they act like animals?

                We should do nothing. And let them finally see that they are their masters of their own destiny.

                Let them have their little Disneyland Caliphate and let the 6th century return to the Middle East.

                If it’s what Islam wants so badly, we cannot deny it to them.

        2. “Let them have what they so desperately want.”

          Well, there’s Heather Hastie’s (unattested) comment: “They also have a stated aim of carrying the fight to the West.”

          So, if that’s true, no, let’s not.

          /@

          1. They will kill enough of their own that there will be nothing left to fight us.

            They wont have the means to either. They couldn’t create their own weapons of destruction if they need to pray 5 times per day.

            Nothing to worry about.

              1. No. Why should we? Well, actually, of course we should but that’s besides the point. (Sorry for the double-speak)

                Muslims realise (are taught/indoctrinated) that the struggle for the restoration of the Caliphate, world dominance for Islam and the conversion or death of all infidels/apostates will have costs.

                One of those will be the cost of human lives. Duh! This is Islam we’re talking about here.

                So, no. They don’t care, why should we? Let them have their mayhem. It’s what they want so badly. Once they’re done they might decide that globalisation would be a better path than barbarism.

                It’s their choice to make.

              2. Of course we should. But would that make things better? Or would it make things worse?

                Imagine we didn’t touch it and let it all descend into oblivion. Tens of millions died by the sword or disease or starvation.

                Do you think, then, that they will finally understand that their system of death and destruction is faulty?

                If we send in food and supplies, the armed thugs will benefit from that aid the most and it will prolong the insanity.

                Perhaps they will never learn.

  11. I know this is gonna sound morose, because it is, but I want to DL the pictures of the heads on spikes into my phone so I can show them to the next person whom accuses me of Islamophobia for stating an unassailable fact.

  12. I fail to see the necessity of covering a story like this. I know, ‘it’s Jerry’s site’ and ‘I don’t have to click on the story’ and ‘I’m free to go somewhere else’. Believe me, I will not look at the pictures.

    But is it necessary to show photos of children holding decapitated heads or other children with a gun in their face prior to execution? Is this the argumentum ad extremum necessary to convince members of the atheist community that the religious can do barbaric things to innocents? Ask yourself: why do you want to look at these pictures? Was ISIS stoning women to death and commiting genocide not convincing enough for you? Better check out the crucifixion?

    Now that you know, you must be infuriated. So now what do you intend to do about it? Nothing, right?

    I don’t feel better-informed about the world having read this. I feel diminished.

    1. You miss the point Jimbo. Human inflicted suffering has marked human history forever. Here we do what is called for by humanity. We do not turn away. We look an feel pity. That is the first thing to do. What follows is complex and long term. Be patient.

    2. Atheists are always told that they are immoral. That without religion, the world would descend into chaos, madness, savagery and whatnot.

      Jerry has long used his website to provide counterexamples to these claims: atheists behaving good and religious folks behaving bad.

      (IS)IS are simply another example of the latter. As I see it it fits perfectly on this site.

    3. First of all, the pictures you describe were not posted here. Going to look at them is the reader’s choice (I chose not to for now because reading about it is enough for me).

      This is a very nasty reality in the world today and it helps to confront it. I don’t feel infuriated by this story, I feel scared. But I’m not going to hide from it and many people who read this site may not fully know what bad things extremist Islamists do. This perspective is necessary and needed.

  13. If I DID believe in a “Devil”, I’d imagine that he’d be laughing his head off right now at what’s going on in this ignorance-plagued world.

  14. Disgusting. This is an enemy who only knows violence and there is no way to solve this issue other than through use of force. So far drones seem to be a good option.

  15. You’re wrong. Everyone is against these guys (Shiites, Kurd, the west, moderate Sunnis, even al Qaeda). The world is going through hell right now, but it’s not an eternal abyss, they’ll get out of this.

      1. An interesting link to a The Hague councellor – presumably Sunni – who “understands” ISIS, claims their atrocities committed are minor compared to those suffered by Sunni in Iraq, and concludes “taken all into account, I say, long live ISIS”.

        That’s an elected city councellor in the Netherlands. It (again) begs the question whether there is such a thing as moderate Islam.

  16. Yes, I think the world is going to hell, but it’s not a one-way road. What I wonder is, why? Why right now at this point in history are the fundamentalists (mostly Muslim but also to an extent other religions) acting out so strongly? The best theory I can come up with is that their view of the world is coming under ever increasing pressure from more modern forces, and their reaction is a backlash against that pressure. If so, then it is possible that this fundamentalist reaction will run its course in a generation or two, as more modern forces take root. Meanwhile, we should defend ourselves as best we can.

  17. I would like to see this particular excuse for a human shoved into a fMIR scanner to see what the f@^k is going on. I wonder if we would get some insight to how brains operated in the middle ages. But for now I thank christ I don’t live anywhere near them.

    1. I’m sure there was a whole lot going on with mediaeval brains. If you think about what was required to survive & pass on your genes, it could be that there was a strong selection for sociopaths. Further, given the way people treated one another, the whole society would react to things from trauma – generations of traumatized people forming armies, states, families. It’s a shame you couldn’t scan the brains of mediaeval folk & sequence their genes to the nth degree to see what was going on in there.

  18. I agree with Victor Stenger’s idea, ” God is a failed hypothesis ”

    I think that a real supernatural God would be able to terminate a person all by itself and would not need humans to lend a hand.

    I think it is possible that Jesus never existed and some scholars say John 8v1-11 is a late addition but i think it is one of the better ideas in the Bible. Whoever wrote
    John 8v7 has Jesus say, ” If anyone of you is without sin, let him cast the first stone “..v 10 ” has no one condemned you ? Then neither do I condemn you ” .
    Maybe we should hear Christian ministers on t.v. asking Imams, ” So if you think Jesus was a prophet would you agree that it would be better to put this idea into practice ? ”
    [ Sadly there are verses in the NT which contradict John 8v7.]
    I also think the image of Jesus writing in the sand John 8v6 could have been followed by him saying, ” Let the scriptures be no more enduring than writing in the sand, let the wind erase them and instead let a duty of care be your guide and a motto of first do no harm ”

    I quite like Ecclesiastes 3v8 There is a time for everything- a time for war and a time for peace.

    Acts 12v23, ” Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms ”

    Those sort of cosmic surgical strikes only seem to happen in fiction but could be quite a desirable reality

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