Tuesday, 17 February 2015

ISIS: Second beheading? Second hoax? “To lose one may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose two looks like carele ssness.” (With apologies to Oscar Wilde) – Tim Veater

Subject: ISIS: Second beheading? Second hoax? “To lose one may be regarded as
a misfortune; to lose two looks like carelessness.” (With apologies to Oscar
Message Body:
ISIS: Second beheading? Second hoax?
“To lose one may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose two looks like
carelessness.” (With apologies to Oscar Wilde)
As to the alleged capture and execution of Foley and Sotloff, we might
reasonably concur with Oscar Wilde, (well almost!) that “to lose one may be
regarded as a misfortune; to lose two looks like carelessness.” As to whether
their roles and the circumstances of their alleged demise, were quite as those
portrayed by western government and media is discussed below, but the strong
suspicion exists neither were innocent journalists merely seeking the truth nor
their deaths happened in the way suggested.
The reliability of the video footage of the first alleged beheading execution on
or about the 19th August 2014, to James Wright Foley, has been discussed
previously on this site. (1) Suffice it to say that experts in such matters
concluded the widely circulated video of the gory event was fraudulent. Whether
Foley is alive or dead, or if the latter, he was killed in the manner, or on the
date, suggested, is still very much open to question.
The alleged representation of Foley’s murder by decapitation was then closely
followed by a second, of similarly dubious nature, this time to Stephen Joel
Sotloff on or about the 2nd September, 2014. (Note despite the claimed break of
nearly two weeks between the events, the claimed assailant appears not to have
changed at all)
As part of the same video, another victim was paraded and a similar fate
threatened. This third man was later named as a British national, David Haines.
According to the Mirror, tonight (13.9.2014) the extremists posted a new video
lasting 2 minutes and 30 seconds which appears to show the beheading of David
Haines. At the end of the video, ISIS parade another middle-aged hostage who has
of yet not been identified. (5)
The British Government it is said to have made strenuous efforts to locate and
negotiate Haines’ release, whilst maintaining it was not prepared to pay ransom
that has secured the release of other detainees. If this third video can be
believed, efforts proved unsuccessful. Having watched it here (6) the same
reservations apply, in so far as during the “cutting strokes” of the knife no
blood is apparent and the video fades at that point. It has to be said that when
the image cuts to a prostrate body with severed head it appears very convincing.
The possibility therefore exists that if not a sophisticated forgery, the
unfortunate Mr Haines was murdered off-camera either by the unconvincing
executioner or someone else. The bottom line however is that the video does not
conclusively prove Mr Haines was decapitated by “Jihadist John” in the way
The possibility that the events have been staged to influence public opinion,
particularly in the United States and Britain. cannot be ruled out. If so, it
has been very successful, shifting the proportion in favour of US military
intervention from 12% to 30% and opposition down from 71% in December to 41%
now according to one source. (2)
The effect on the British public has yet to be determined although we may assume
it will replicate that in the US. Mr Cameron and the MSM are certainly intensely
using the death of Mr Haines to promote a return to military involvement in the
area which has already started.
Before the latest Haines murder, family and governments went into overdrive to
express outrage and despair in equal measure over the deaths of Foley and
Sotloff. Mr Cameron was immediately quoted as saying ‘If verified, this is a
despicable and barbaric murder.” with which no one would disagree. The crucial
issue is whether it has indeed been verified. Nothing has emerged since the
event to verify it, but conversely government has continued to treat it as
This was confirmed by President Obama’s speech to the nation on the poignant eve
of 9/11. The alleged beheading of two Americans figure large in his thinking and
have been used to influence public opinion in support of the intended military
He said, “anyone who threatens America will find no safe haven”. In other words
the American President reserves the right to bomb wherever and whenever,
irrespective of where it might be. (In view of the recent claim that there maybe
300 terrorist cells in England maybe we should watch out also!) It certainly
required a delegation of twenty or more CIA agents visiting these shores to
discuss the matter we were told. (4)
In this regard the Daily Mail reported Professor Anthony Glees, of the Centre
for Security and Intelligence Studies at Buckingham University as saying, “The
US is worried about the British situation. They fear there might be a knock-on
effect for them. The throat-cutting between Sunnis and Shias in Iraq and Syria
has not yet spread to the UK, but it is a real threat. It is conceivable you
could see Shia ‘hit squads’ in Britain targeting Sunnis preparing to go out to
the conflict zones to fight.”
The incidents have been used as a main plank in the American justification for
resuming bombing missions (I am not sure “missions” is the most appropriate verb
that should be employed but there we go) not only in Iraq but also in Syria,
with or without the consent of the Syrian Government.
Apart from its dubious legality under the United Nations Charter and a serious
escalation of violence and aggression, it appears suspiciously akin to finally
carrying out war with Syria by some other means and pretext, the “beheadings”
being a significant element in getting the American population to back it. Since
he made the speech Russia, China, Iran and Syria have all come out publicly with
the view that this would be a serious breach of international law. Yet again we
have a very dangerous alignment reminiscent of the Cold War era.
Mr Obama is seeking an EXTRA half a billion dollars to train up “moderate”
Syrian rebels (as if such a thing exists!) in Saudi Arabia, creating the
preposterous situation of the acknowledged main backers of the Sunni ISIS
organisation, being responsible for eradicating it! Unless of course the target
is not ISIS at all but Syria or even Iran? Congress is reported as being
supportive of the plan.
We know these have been the objectives of a US/Israeli/Saudi strategy for a long
time, so the new policy looks increasingly suspicious. That the alleged
beheadings have formed such an important emotive element in changing public
opinion, they need to be treated with the greatest caution, particularly if the
video evidence on which it is based does not stack up.
With some degree of certainty we can say it is not convincing in the first Foley
case and is no more convincing in the second with Sotloff. The events become
even murkier when the background of the two “victims” is revealed and the events
leading up to the alleged executions.
As with the downing of MH17, it is extraordinary how Western governments have
jumped to conclusions and responsibilities prior to the evidence having been
collected or analysed objectively. No-one appears to question the source of the
videos or the absence of reliable corroboration, nor pose questions about
elements of the videos themselves. If nothing else, this indecent haste, this
credulous approach, strongly hints the events at least do not interfere with a
prior strategy for the region.
With the assistance of the mainstream media (MSM), the attitudinal damage is
done and it proves very hard to later shift public perception – as demonstrated
by the fraudulent official story of 9/11, that has been incredibly difficult to
dislodge from the public consciousness, despite its obvious flaws and
In his eve of 9/11 speech Obama managed to conflate the lie of 9/11 with the
deaths of Foley and Sotloff, and use both as justification for more war. Given
what we now know about 9/11, rather that giving credence to the murders, it
supports the view that these too could have been fabricated to influence public
opinion and therefore should be treated with the greatest caution.
Perhaps at this point we should remind ourselves of Hermann Goering’s famous
quote regarding influencing public opinion on going to war: “Naturally the
common people don’t want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that
matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the
country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the
people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a
parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can
always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to
do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack
of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. IT WORKS THE SAME IN ANY
So returning to the videos of the alleged decapitations, on which so much
further violence turns (American forces have already carried out more than 150
bombing raids in the past month) not only is there reason to doubt the
assumptions made but also to state categorically that in neither video widely
circulated, was a claimed decapitation carried out! This it must be stated is
beyond controversy and attested to by experts in the field.
Whether Foley and Sotloff were killed by this or other means at another time or
place is a separate issue. (Some sources claim for example that Foley was in
fact murdered a year before) They may have been but by the same token,
particularly if the video is the only evidence, they may not. They may well be
still alive and captive or be in a place of safety, we do not know. All we can
say is that the videos definitely do not demonstrate what they purport, so
eagerly promulgated by western governments and media.
Incontrovertibly, despite numerous feigned cutting actions by knife on neck
there is no evidence of one drop of blood coming from the injury in either case.
This is simply impossible. Nor does either video reveal the head being removed.
Both break off at this crucial point and only a body and “head” is shown after
the act. (The latest video of the Haines’ murder repeats these characteristics)
It could be genuine or a fake, we just do not know, but clearly the videos do
not prove heads were removed or even serious injuries inflicted. This when added
to the many other documented flaws and reservations discussed elsewhere, is
sufficient to throw serious doubt on the events.
If it was designed to outrage public opinion in America and the West it has
been successful. The question remains, by whom?
The videos also for the first time directly implicate Britain in the ISIS
organisation and the beheading, by showing the alleged executioner as British,
suspiciously and jauntily named “Jihadist John” as part of a “Beatles group” of
“John, Paul, George and Ringo” and the next prospective victim, Mr Haines, to be
British also. This cries out propagandist manipulation. It conveniently
supports Mr Cameron’s assertion that British-born Jihadists fighting in Syria
are a direct threat to the United Kingdom and the raising of the terrorism
threat level to “severe”- only one away from the highest – although no concrete
or specific evidence has been made public. Australia it may be noted has
dutifully followed suit, specifying the same fear of returning Jihadis. Strange
how this threat has only just been appreciated and acted upon simultaneously
either side of the globe. Now rather ominously, Mr Cameron has adopted the macho
script of Mr Bush, that he intends to “hu
nt down” the perpetrators. It seems on every level of policy and rhetoric it
is impossible to get a cigarette paper between London and Washington. But who is
writing the script?
Perhaps it is worth noting that the alleged British left-handed Jihadist
wielding the knife, who appears on both videos, makes a very unconvincing speech
in a SE London accent with Israeli or Jewish inflections to his voice. Despite
being fully covered from head to foot apart from the eyes, a name has been
released by the British authorities and a photograph published by the British
press as British rapper Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary. This might point to good
detective work. Equally it might suggest prior knowledge all along. Rather
suspiciously, the announcement of his suspected identity was first made in the
New York Times presumably from a US government source!
In addition we are told that the executions were held some time apart but the
executioner appears to have changed not a jot. Surely it could not be that both
Foley and Sotloff “executions” were staged at the same location within minutes
of each other? Nor can we be sure that one of the groups either supporting or
fighting Assad, but not ISIS, have fabricated it, blaming it on the latter, to
precipitate the action against ISIS units, which we are told America, with
British support, is carrying out.
So to summarise, these events fit a pattern and rather too conveniently support
a line being adopted by the main protagonists and supporters of further military
intervention – Britain and the United States, where public opinion has been
influenced by them. Both the sudden emergence of ISIS and its brutal deeds shout
yet more western (for which read predominantly American) meddling in a region
where past involvement has been both disastrous for those that live there and
counter productive as regards terrorism. END.

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