Michael Ledeen at NRO finally puts some thinking forward that aligns with my own opinion on Islamic beheadings. This is a point that needs to be made - "This is not about us — it is about them. The beheading films are recruitment tools."
Notice how Islamic groups constantly use the collapse of the Twin Towers in recruitment videos. There are two points I would like to make as an extension to Michaels point.
One, there is simply not enough discussion about the nature of the horror of September 11. Apparently, we creatures are too sensitive and fragile to have to ponder, contemplate and work through the pain and the suffering and the horror, and besides, it smacks of ghoulish behavior - right? Wrong, I have many times pondered the horror that would have been experienced by one of the poor souls who would have faced the choice between having the skin melt off of their back versus taking their chances at surviving a 1,000 ft + fall. Imagine the feelings of those in the north tower who watched the south tower fall and knew it was only a matter of time before they met the same fate. What were people thinking as they made the commitment to jump? From 1,000 feet it would have taken 15-20 seconds of falling before impact. That's enough time for a person who has blacked out with fear as they leapt to come to and realize that they have just moments left to live. Why have we collectively chosen to block out the emotional impact of the pain and suffering of those murdered? Is it perhaps because we might get justifiably angry? Has anger been written off as permanently bad, even when justified? Is it possible to be angry while also remain steadfastly anchored to logic and reality? Ofcourse!
Two, Islam faces a problem when trying to find ways of straddling the justification of beheadings as part of its justice system whereas measured against the brutal summary executions carried out by Zarqawi and his ilk. The executions with a blunted knife demonstrate the tenuous nature of judicial control by any religion. Such religious authoritarion situations lead directly to the brutality that we are witnessing today. What will Islam do with the paradox that is i) promoting religion to a position of supreme judicial power along with endorsment of brutal punishments as compared to ii) political movements that endorse and revel in the brutal execution of innocents.
Or are they one and the same?