The story so far: a handful of videos, which most of us have never seen, featuring a man-in-black whose face we cannot see and whose voice we cannot authenticate, together with four strangely fearless hostages, whose beheadings we do not witness, and whose divorced torso and head could be created by any half-decent theatre or opera company, have facilitated the once unthinkable return of Anglo-American armed forces to the land from which they were routed, Iraq, and have precipitated the further erosion of civil liberties in the UK and the US. Truly, we live in an age of marketing—emotional marketing.
Now read on.
I have argued that this marketing campaign—‘We’re Islamic State: Come Get Us Before We Get You’—is a work of Military Deception (MILDEC). To wit: it is a creation of a handful of professional MILDEC officers (whose identity I leave until later) and a much larger number of unwitting people whose belief in the deception makes it work. This nest of professional conspirators are using techniques normally deployed against an external enemy against “us”; in the first instance, the citizens of the UK and the US, more broadly, world public opinion.
A child could spot the anomalies and inconsistencies in these videos because children lack preconceptions, they say what they see. Most grown ups don’t spot them because they don’t bother to look and they don’t bother to look because they blithely assume that this kind of thing does not happen. To recognize the hand of military deception in these videos one needs only an understanding of how it works. This series of posts are a modest step in this direction. I defy any competent, independent expert in MILDEC to vouch for the authenticity of these videos.
Nothing I say here or in earlier posts denies the reality of the often brutal military maneuvers on the ground in Syria, Kurdistan and Iraq in the name of ‘Islamic State’ and I will turn to this in due course. My argument is that this campaign of deception disguises the real intent, motives and the powers behind these maneuvers.
Now I turn to the video that surely makes a nonsense of all of the above: the self-titled ‘Although the disbelievers dislike it.’ It was ‘released’ into the public domain on Sunday, November 16, before disappearing again, just as its predecessors had done. To protect us from its gore, you understand—for now Westerners are afraid not just of fearsome things but of the very idea of fearsome things.
Fortunately, American intelligence briefed corporate news media on what the video contained and what it meant. The big news: the video shows the tragic beheading of young Master Kassig, whose only fault was to want to help people (it doesn’t; it wasn’t). The fate of the 18 young Syrian military men (‘Nusayri officers and pilots in the hands of the Khilafah’)—each someone’s son, brother—was scarcely mentioned. In this indirect way we learn that the death of one American is worth the lives of 18 Syrians. In the event, only six of them are ‘beheaded’.
If the earlier beheadings were a bit iffy, as in ‘no one was actually beheaded’, this was the real thing, we were told: we get to see the brutal ‘look away now’ decapitations. Actually, we don’t. If the earlier videos were ‘made for television’ (see The Secret of Islamic State’s Beheading Videos Revealed), this production uses techniques perfected in the motion picture business. We ‘see’ only one ‘beheading’, performed by ‘Jihadi John’ and his victim who can’t stop looking at the camera. The rest is slight of hand, slick editing and special effects. If it seems ‘just like a movie’, it’s because it is.
And it’s executed quite brilliantly. Let me show you how.
The video has these sections:
- Opening sequence: 00:00-1:00
- A narrated video of Islamic State’s brief history: 1:00-7:45
- The choreographed simulated ‘beheadings’: 7:45-11:35
- Finale: featuring ‘Jihadi John’ with a prop head at this feet: 11:35-15:53
The entire video ‘Although Disbelievers Dislike It’ can been seen at ISIS Although The Disbelievers Dislike It Video and Location which is a page of Aid Drops and Airstrikes, a web site belonging to the People’s Protection Units of Kurdistan. To understand one aim of the IS deception, look to what these People’s Units are protecting. The featured image shows some women fighters of the PPU in Kobané.
Opening Sequence (00:00-1:00)
The opening scene (one minute) features a blue borderless, interactive map of the Middle East (see screenshot below). There are names, but no territorial boundaries. There is Lebanon. Here is Jordan, Iraq and Syria. Just over there we see Turkey, Iran and Bulgaria. Oddly enough, Israel is not identified although the equally small Kuwait is. But then these Islamic State people have a blind spot when it comes to Israel.
As we are taking in this panorama, a digital black flag and white flag pole descends and inserts itself at the border between Syria and Iraq. This black flag brings with it a bright light. The English names for these countries are joined by their Arabic names. Syria becomes ‘Sham’. Funnily enough, there is no Saudi Arabia, only the Arabian Peninsula. Why is Rome identified?
The map of the Middle East morphs into a map of North America. Mexico is labelled such. Canada is not (subsumed under the United States?) The brightness brought by Islamic State spreads from the east coast to the west. And then, low and behold, this glow envelops the entire world. Just in case there was any doubt about what that means:
Indeed, Allah gathered the Earth for me, and thus I saw its eastern and western extents, and indeed the reign of my Ummah will reach what was gathered for me from the Earth. (Sahih Muslim)
Now we begin to understand why ‘the Disbelievers Dislike It’. These characters are intent on world domination. So pay attention to what follows.
Islamic State’s Cast of Characters (1:00-7:45)
Between 1:00 and 4:20 we are treated to an illustrated history of Islamic State told via the deeds of its deceased leaders. Think of it as Islamic State’s Greatest Hits. The Arabic narrator’s tone of voice is portentous BBC Terrorism. He sounds as if he is reading the Shipping Forecast. He narrates a film strip of images moving left to right. Frames springs forth and come to life when addressed. This is fitting since so much of what we know about ‘Islamic State’ comes in video form. Essentially this is a roll call of fabricated IS characters interspersed with real footage to give them a patina of authenticity.
An English translation accompanies voice and images. Let’s consider this example:
The invasive crusader forces announced the collapse of Baghdad [April 9/14, 2003]. While they enjoyed the ecstasy of false victory, the sons of Islam were preparing themselves for a battle whose flames would not wane until they struck the armies of the Cross near Dabiq.
Leaving aside (for now) the atrocious overwrought terrorist language, note that this ‘history’ makes no mention of the many thousands of Iraqi men, women and children who resisted these ‘invasive crusader forces’ and perished in the process—while these dissolute ‘sons of Islam’ ‘prepared’ themselves for some future, much-promised ‘battle’. This narrated video casually substitutes the nascent ‘Islamic State’ for the actual resistance who are passed over in silence. This leaves the impression that the only people resisting the occupation were these vainglorious IS dilettantes. At a stroke, to resist the Anglo-American occupation is to support Islamic State. This is no accident.
The narration continues. ‘So some of the jihadi battalions and factions were formed.’ Just one moment. ’So’ normally refers back to something already established. In this case the word points to a history that isn’t there. But to continue: ‘including Jama’at at-Tawhid wal-Jihad, which was established by Shaykh Abu Mus’ab az-Zarqawi’.
Including in the pantheon of Islamic State greats Mr. al-Zarqawi—so elusive that some doubted his existence—is crucial evidence that this video, indeed Islamic State itself, is a deception, a sham. Let me explain.
The actual Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was killed by American bombs at an Ansar al-Islam camp in the Sulaimaniyah mountains of northern Iraq, most likely during April, 2003, i.e., at the very beginning of the occupation.
Al-Zarqawi’s career as an agent provocateur began during U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell’s, now infamous, presentation to the U.N. Security Council, in February, 2003, the aim of which was to secure its backing for the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq. Powell talked of a ‘sinister nexus between Iraq and the al-Qaeda terrorist network’.
Iraq today harbors a deadly terrorist network headed by Abu Musab Zarqawi, an associate and collaborator of Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda lieutenants.
These claims were false, just as the rest of his presentation was full of falsehoods. Powell didn’t lie. He really believed what he was told about al-Zarqawi. Deceptions work via the unwitting. The honest, trustworthy Powell unwittingly sold the deception to the Security Council and Iraq’s fate was sealed.
Because the real Zarqawi was dead, he could be blamed for all manner of atrocities, to suit political expediency. Here are just a few examples:
(i) When the Shiites seemed likely to join the Sunni-driven resistance, the Americans paraded a letter, which they alleged was written by Zarqawi, calling for a civil war against the Shiites.
(ii) Only weeks later, the Americans blamed Zarqawi for the suicide bombing of Shiite mosques in Karbala and Baghdad.
(iii) Zarqawi came to America’s rescue shortly after publication of photographs of torture at Abu Ghraib, in the form of the kidnapping of Nicholas Berg. The Americans told us that he had been decapitated by Zarqawi himself.
(iv) Zarqawi’s alleged presence in Fallujah was the pretext for America’s razing to the ground that city, in November, 2004. Thus:
Fallujah had become a hub for foreign guerrillas who joined Zarqawi’s network, U.S. military officials have said.
So they really had no option but to raze Fallujah, you see. The then Prime Minister, Iyad Allawi, warned the city to hand Zarqawi over or else face a full scale assault. This was impossible because he wasn’t there. He wasn’t there because he was dead. In a letter sent on Oct. 14, 2004, to Kofi Annan, the Fallujah Shura Council, which administers the city, said:
In Fallujah, [the Americans] have created a new vague target: al-Zarqawi. Almost a year has elapsed since they created this new pretext, and whenever they destroy houses, mosques, restaurants, and kill children and women, they said: ‘We have launched a successful operation against al-Zarqawi.’ The people of Fallujah assure you that this person, if he exists, is not in Fallujah … and we have no links to any groups supporting such inhuman behavior. We appeal to you to urge the UN [to prevent] the new massacre which the Americans and the puppet government are planning to start soon in Fallujah, as well as many parts of the country (my emphasis).
These words made not a jot of difference then, but we should heed them now when making sense of Islamic State’s gallery of rogues. ‘This person, if he exists’. The people of Fallujah couldn’t find this ‘al-Zarqawi’, when their very lives depended on finding him, and, after the massacre, neither could the Americans. And why? Because he has been dead since 2003 and his name was used as cover for atrocities committed by other forces. Islamic State is the descendant of these ‘other forces’.
‘Al-Zarqawi’ allowed the US military to create the impression that the resistance to their occupation of Iraq was the work of this evil monster and al-Qaeda. It was nothing of the kind. It also gave them cover for creating divisions within that resistance by instigating attacks against Shiite Iraqis. They are doing exactly the same thing now in the form of ‘Islamic State’.
If al-Zarqawi died in 2003, who is the rotund ‘al-Zarqawi’ in this screen shot from the IS ‘Although the disbelievers dislike it’ video? He is a limited term ‘actor’, motivated by force of circumstance and/or financial incentive. The same was true of this ‘al-Zarqawi’s’ successor Abdullah ibn Rashid al-Baghdadi. The same is true of ‘Jihadi John’ and the current leader of Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. All these characters meet the same end. They are ‘retired’, nearly always at a politically opportune moment, courtesy of a US airstrike that obliterates all trace of them. And then a new leader emerges.
The inauthenticity of this video al-Zarqawi is easily established. For a start he looks nothing like the earlier authenticated photographs of al-Zarqawi. This hater of all things American is holding an American M-249; out of shot, he’s wearing a pair of New Balance trainers, sparkling white. Then there is the matter of how this video was acquired by the US. It was the great good fortune of American forces to have chanced upon it during a raid on an al-Qaeda safe house in the Baghdad area. Funnily enough, so much of what we know about al-Qaeda and Islamic State comes from lap tops, audio-tapes and videos chanced upon by American troops and, the ever popular, ‘intelligence’. Nevertheless, while al-Qaeda may be careless and unlucky, the al-Zarqawi video does a passable job of inspiring his supporters and intimidating his Western enemies with his military prowess. Until, that is, we see what is not shown in this IS video—the next few frames of the al-Zarqawi-with-a-machine-gun video.
The al-Zarqawi video (labelled ‘October 2003’ in the IS video) was released to the public early May 2006 by the US military. It was released to the public as part of a campaign to both show that he exists and undermine al-Zarqawi’s credibility. Means to this end were scenes which revealed al-Zarqawi to be incompetent with a machine gun:
It’s supposed to be automatic fire, he’s shooting single shots. Something is wrong with his machine gun, he looks down, can’t figure out, calls his friend to come unblock the stoppage and get the weapon firing again …. And, his close associates around him … do things like grab the hot barrel of the machine gun and burn themselves.
A screenshot of this comedy of errors is shown in the screenshot above. Most adult Iraqis are familiar with this figure-of-fun al-Zarqawi ‘blooper’, for as The Guardian tells us:
The footage was broadcast repeatedly on Iraqi state television and the pan-Arab satellite channel Al-Arabiya across Iraq today as many people began their weekend. (The Guardian.com, Friday 5 May 2006)
So why would ‘Islamic State’ in this promotional video use a clip from a video which ridicules al-Zarqawi? Answer: because the IS video isn’t directed at Iraqis, it’s directed at Western audiences and they know nothing about all this. Iraqis themselves have long grown weary of this game of invented al-Qaeda leaders. How likely is it that this leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq cannot handle a machine gun? How likely is it that the most wanted man in Iraq, whose features were unknown, would reveal his face in a video and then leave it to be found in a safe house? Real guerrilla leaders are not fools. The ‘al-Zarqawi’ in the video is an actor who is paid to behave foolishly.
Even fictional characters have to die sometime. The narrative had run its course. ‘Al-Zarqawi’ was ‘retired’ when the USAF dropped two 500 lb. bombs on his ‘safe’ house, June 7, 2006. Only then did we understand his faced had been displayed on every television screen in the Middle East a month earlier—it was to identify his body now. The screen shot below from this IS video is a photograph released by the Americans to demonstrate his death. Everything else in the house was reduced to dust, but this character proved super-human even in death. There’s barely a scratch on him. But give the character its due. In his name atrocities were committed against the Shi’a with the sole aim of turning parties to the armed resistance against each other. Dividing its enemies along sectarian lines had been perfected by the British. Here the Americans continued this treacherous tradition. The Iraqi national resistance was divided and fragmented into bloody sectarian strife. The big question, By whom?
So much for ‘Shaykh Abu Mus’ab az-Zarqawi’ and his ‘Jama’at at-Tawhid wal-Jihad’. Let’s look at the next cartoon villain-of-the-piece:
‘After him [Zarqawi], the banner was carried by Shaykh Abu Hamzah al-Muhajir.’
Iraqis are known to dislike outsiders, so note the name: ‘Al-Muhajir” is Arabic for immigrant. Zarqawi was Jordanian. We know that al-Muhajir was appointed as al-Zarqawi’s successor because a dubious audio-tape from Osama bin Laden told us he was just the chap to lead the jihad against the dastardly occupiers. The only problem was that a bona fide Egyptian lawyer vouched that this Mr. al-Muhajir had been in an Egyptian prison for seven years, where he recently visited him. Immediately, ‘al-Muhajir’ became ‘better known as’ ‘Abu Ayyub al-Masri’ and this embarrassment was accommodated.
The narrator informs us ‘time did not pass long before’ (in less flowery language, ‘in October 2006’) al‐Muhajir announced the formation of the Islamic State of Iraq and named Shaykh Abdullah ibn Rashid al-Baghdadi as the leader of this council, it’s ‘Emir’. Wait a moment! Where have we heard that name before? You will recall from an earlier post that the US Military admitted that the very same ‘Abdullah ibn Rashid al-Baghdadi’ was a fiction of their own creation. (Michael R. Gordon. Leader of Al Qaeda group in Iraq was fictional, U.S. military says. New York Times. July 18, 2007.) This would go some way in explaining the lack of a photograph for this character.
To recap: Of these two leaders of the ‘Islamic State of Iraq’, one was imprisoned in Egypt and knew nothing of all this and the other didn’t exist. No wonder no one set eyes on them. To be fair, to do their job they didn’t actually have to exist, they had only to facilitate a narrative capable of explaining the sectarian killing and this they did admirably.
In any event, these characters were retired simultaneously courtesy of a ‘Crusader’ air strike in Salaheddin province, west of Baghdad, April 2010. Even boy scouts and girl guides know that terrorist leaders should not travel together. But not these Keystone terrorists. And they learn nothing from this calamities. Recall that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi nearly lost his life when his ten vehicle convoy was hit by US missiles (see Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s Near Death Experience). If you keep paying attention you’ll find that this happens to him over and over again.
At this point in the narrative, there is an interlude during which Islamic State establishes its moral authority to kill whomever, wherever, however and without mercy. Beneath this caption ‘Nusayri airstrikes against the Muslims of Sham’ (Nusayri is often used as another name for Alawites) we have this:
By Allah, we will never forget our people in Houla. By Allah, we will never forget what you did to our people in Ghouta. By Allah, we will never forget what you did to our people in Baniyas.
Here Islamic State bathes in the moral outrage over these massacres and vows revenge. They can’t be faulted on this, surely? Yes, they certainly can. Followers of traditional news media know that in each case ‘those loyal to Syria’s President Assad’ were guilty of these heinous crimes. This has certainly been the line of the United States and its ‘international community’. But look a little more closely and a rather different position emerges. Or would you rather take the word of Islamic State?
‘Our people in Houla’ refers to the Houla massacre on May 25, 2012, at two opposition conrolled villages north of Homs. 108 people were killed, including 34 women and 49 children. Most were executed. It is by no means clear who did it. Some, including, it would seem, Islamic State, say the pro-government Shabiha were to blame. The Syrian government blamed al-Qaeda, i.e., a forerunner of Islamic State. The UN Commission of Inquiry ‘with the available evidence could not rule out any of three possible perpetrators.’
‘We will never forget what you did to our people in Ghouta’ refers to a chemical attack on August 21, 2013, on the people of East Ghouta, a suburb of Damascus which killed around 1500 people. The whole world it seemed, with the exception of Russia, decided almost immediately that the government of President Bashar al-Assad was responsible and the United States was on the verge of attacking Syria. Putin regarded the attack as a provocation to this very end. There is plenty of evidence that opposition forces backed by Saudi Arabia carried out these attacks. This line of argument is supported by an MIT report Possible Implications of Faulty US Technical Intelligence in the Damascus Nerve Agent Attack of August 21, 2013.
‘We will never forget what you did to our people in Baniyas’ refers to massacres committed in the village of Bayda and the city of Baniyas in North Western Syria in the first week of May 2013. Here Islamic State sides with the American and NATO view that Syrian troops, supported by paramilitaries, killed Sunni residents of this village and this part of the city. But here again there is an alternative explanation, that US and NATO sponsored terrorists killed these people.
Islamic State’s claimed moral outrage in this promotional video is important because it provides the justification for what comes next—the apparent beheading of the 18 young Syrian military men (‘Nusayri officers and pilots in the hands of the Khilafah.’) Clearly, this self-justification should not go unchallenged. This moral outrage can be turned around. There is compelling evidence that each of the above massacres were committed by people very much like those under the banner of Islamic State—to implicate someone else.
We should ‘never forget’ that either.
The choreographed ‘beheadings’ (7:45-11:35)
The above is a mere preamble to the main event. Having airbrushed out of existence the actual resistance to the occupation and established al-Qaeda/Islamic State in its place, and having established its moral right to ‘cleanse’ the land of anyone who gets in their way, who can object if they want to decapitate a few ‘Nusayri officers and pilots’? But just as the preceding part of the video reeks of deception, so too does this beheading segment. Cue the procession of the doomed and their baby-faced executioners.
The first thing to note is that this mass beheading forms a tableaux, a ‘living picture’. This isn’t some fly-on-the-wall production. Everything is ordered, designed, choreographed with an eye for the cameras. The most important person is the one we cannot see, the director. The cameras don’t simply document what was done, they shape our perceptions and feelings of what was done.
As with previous videos, can we distinguish between authentic and simulated emotions?
The caption ‘ Nusayri officers and pilots in the hands of the Khilafah’ is all we are told about their identities. Some of the executioners have been identified as new recruits from the West, attracted liked moths to a flame. Of the identities of the Syrian ‘officers and pilots’ I have heard nothing in Syrian news media. Has no mother recognized her son?
The presumed Syrian ‘officers and pilots’ wear blue uniforms. They are clean-shaven and barefoot. Their body language gives them the demeanour of beaten dogs and yet they display no signs of ill-treatment. Their faces look down. Their torsos stoop forward, apparently of their own choosing for there is no sign of compulsion. Their hands are restrained behind their backs with some sort of plastic tie. At 9:49 we catch sight of a prisoner whose restraint is not restraining him because it is well below his wrist. He could free himself if he wanted to, but does not. The word to describe these would-be victims is meek.
If you knew you were about to be beheaded, in the most gruesome fashion, wouldn’t you try to escape from these bindings?
The presumed jihadis are young, bearded and serious looking. Perhaps they look serious because they are looking ahead to what they have to do. But their faces do not look as if they’re about to behead anyone. No nervous apprehension. No wondering if they can actually go through with it. Their confident demeanour reveals their innocence, not their hardened experience. We later learn that some of them are recent recruits from the West.
It is only the defeated demeanour of the Syrians that allows us to recognize the jihadis as victors. Imagine the Syrians standing proud and defiant—like, for example, those two British and two American victims in earlier videos. Question: Why don’t these Syrians behave in this way? They know they are being filmed. They must know that what is filmed will be broadcast to all and sundry, including their families. Answer: Because they are not British or American the video tells us—they are just Syrians! The intent is to humiliate these young men—and with them all of Syria.
None of the condemned look as if they know they are about to be beheaded. Not even when they’ve caught sight of the knife and have been pushed face first to the ground do they display any signs of fear. Even animals at an abattoir have more sense than these young men. They go like lambs to the slaughter.
Our sight is arrested by a box of knives. These are much more substantial than those of the earlier videos. They have aggressive serrated edges. As each couple passes the box the jihadi takes a knife and the tension builds. The camera concentrates our attention on one knife, fingered in anticipation.
These duos arrange themselves in a line. The prisoners are pushed to the ground, face first. This, I understand, is the best way to behead and it reveals the nonsense of the earlier videos. But it is normal practice to blindfold the victims, not only to spare them the horror of seeing what awaits them, but also to make them docile. Not here though. We can see their faces and their faces can see the cameras.
When this video was released we were told that this was the ‘real thing’. Whereas the Sotloff, Haines, Henning et al videos hinted at beheading, in ‘Although the Disbelievers Dislike It’ we see knives cut through necks. Certainly the video leaves this impression. To know what actually happens we need to view the segment frame by frame. That reveals that we see but one throat being cut and it’s cut by ‘Jihadi John.’ While there is much gore following these frames it is the aftermath of beheadings we don’t actually see. We don’t see them because the camera directs us to look at Jihadi John and his victim. In the first frame (below) both look directly at the camera. They look at the camera to capture the attention of viewers. In the second we see the young man looking at the camera. Is that the look of a man who knows his death is imminent? In the third and fourth, we see the knife drawn across the young man’s neck and there’s blood, sure there is. As with severed heads, however, to create a knife that simulates cutting is no great task for theatre and film companies. For Military Deception units it’s child’s play. You can buy one on Amazon $15.95 (http://www.amazon.com/Knife-Blood-Halloween-Special-Effect/dp/B00MN26YE4. This is the only ‘throat cutting’ in this IS video and it is entirely consistent with the use of a prop knife and actors. If the fifth and final screen shot (below) Jihadi John holds the head by its hair as if it were a trophy and looks us in the eye just to make sure that we’ve comprehended what he’s just done.
In the last screen shot above note that ‘Jihadi John’s’ hands are free of blood. This is inconsistent with cutting that young man’s throat. Either or both carotid arteries when severed would spurt blood far and wide. Anyone who has witnessed accidental contact between an ice hockey player’s skate blade and an other players neck knows this. For example, when one of Jason Peters‘ carotid arteries was cut in this way ‘the initial spurt of blood shot at least six feet.’ And yet wherever we look as the camera scans the gore of decapitated (prop) heads we see clean hands, boots and clothing.
In the midst of all this (see the first screenshot above, Mr. ‘John’ (or Abu Abdullah al-Britani as he sometimes prefers—’Britani’, just so we know where he’s from) finds time to say this:
To Obama, the dog of Rome, today we are slaughtering the soldiers of Bashar and tomorrow we will be slaughtering your soldiers. And with Allah’s permission, we will break this final and last Crusade, and the Islamic State will soon, like your puppet David Cameron said, will begin to slaughter your people on your streets.
This is clever: ‘Like your puppet David Cameron said’, as indeed he did, removes the need for Mr. Britani to convince us that this is no idle threat. Britani merely echoes the Prime Minister of Britain. Before too long, the authorities in the US and the UK will further curtail civil liberties in the name of national security and anyone who doesn’t like it will be referred to the ‘Although the Disbelievers Dislike It’ (which is almost impossible to obtain.) It’s beyond clever, it’s devious and diabolical.
Finale: featuring ‘Jihadi John’ with a prop head at this feet (11:35-15:53)
Finally, the man-in-black (the identity of whom the FBI claims to know but are too shy to tell us) addresses us thus:
This is Peter Edward Kassig, a U.S. citizen of your country. Peter who fought against the Muslims in Iraq while serving as a soldier under the American army, doesn’t have much to say. His previous cellmates have already spoken on his behalf, but we say to you Obama, like our Sheikh Abu Muhammad al-‘Adnani said, you claim to have withdrawn from Iraq four years ago. We said to you then that you were liars, that you had not withdrawn, and if you had withdrawn, that you would return, even if after some time. You would return. Here you are. You have not withdrawn. Rather, you hid some of your forces behind your proxies and withdrawn the rest. Your forces will return, greater in number than they were before. You will return, and your proxies will not benefit you.
Prop head of Kassig
An interesting feature of traditional news media’s relationship with this ‘Jihadi John’ is that they believe pretty much everything he says. So when he says ‘This is Peter Edward Kassig, a U.S. citizen of your country’ it surely must be true. It’s certainly a head, on that we can agree, and it may resemble Mr. Kassig (‘Peter’ to ‘Jihadi John’). But where—other than in his word—is the evidence that this head once belonged to Peter Kassig? That it may be a prop or theatrical head, that this chummy Mr. John may be trying to deceive us is a thought too dastardly to entertain—because we’ve grown to trust him. And we trust him because he fulfills all that we could wish for in a villain, for he has been designed this way. I half-expect him to appear in the next James Bond movie. He is, after all, acting.
This, then, is my assessment of this video ‘Although the Disbelievers Dislike It’. It is a work of deception from start to finish. To what end you must work out for yourselves from the clues herein.
Whatever one might think of them, the people who put this MILDEC campaign together certainly have a sense of humour. The final scene featuring the man with the flag is an idea lifted from Monty Python.