beheading of James Foley
ISIS executioner with a British accent brandishes his sword

And the crazies too

| The beheading of journalist James Foley has transfixed the world, when they could prise their eyes away from Ferguson, Missouri.

The Islamic State (ISIS AKA ISIL) released a video earlier this week with a message for President Obama: this is payback for airstrikes against us and a portent of what's to come if you don't stop.

Originally posted to YouTube, the video was quickly removed due to its macabre content, although it is said that copies are readily available elsewhere if you know where to look. (I obviously don't because I couldn't find it; inquiring minds want to know.) The same is true for still photographs captured from the video. Most have been replaced with a missing-picture icon.

But that's beside the point of this article which is that the video has set off a flood of vile comment from conspiracy theorists and deniers.

A bit of background first: the video is said to be remarkable for a number of reasons: it is in English with Arabic leads; it was shot with multiple cameras and well-edited; it has high production values; but does not include the actual decapitation. In short, it is "as slick as it is sickening" (DailyMail). In an ironic twist, those very production values are the reason some claim it is fake.

Claim: the video is fake

RealityCheck starts by blaming the victim and moves quickly to charge that he (Foley) was just a "puppet propagandist" for our "vile" government, serving as an excuse for more bombing.

Lesego Gaebee replies that it's a "fake execution" and questions the intelligence of RealityCheck.

Claim: the video is fake

Claiming the video is fake, rxantos directs scorn to the Israeli secret service, chiding them for the fakery and advising them to seek out professional assistance from special effects experts in Hollywood. The first reply moves quickly to a further claim that the video is to make the US fight Israel's wars so Israel is spared sending their "'precious' children" to war. Then Fall Fashion asks about the financing of the orange jump suit.

Really, when the millions that ISIS has extorted from various countries, do you think they're concerned about the cost of overalls?

Where is the blood and gore

Then arte vespule offers as proof of fakery that the actual severing of the head is not included in the video: "Why would these barbarians edit out the gory part? Seriously, why would they???" Lesego Gaebee chimes in with a demand to see the blood.

Now we see that these conspirators live in their own fact free universe. RealityCheck claims to have seen the video and seen "his head being cut off and placed on his chest." There are two things wrong with this: First, the video does not actually show the decapitation. Second, the head is not put on his chest but on his back, as shown in the final picture below (if you choose to view it). Oh, and by the way, it's all the main stream media's fault for promoting wars.

ForeverChanged agrees and then assails Foley's parents, who look "like Jewish people from Israel," for showing insufficient grief and hysteria. Amazing that ForeverChanged can tell the nationality of someone just by looking at them! And how dare they not follow ForeverChanged's script to wail, pull their hair, and gnash their teeth! Just because ForeverChanged can't control his/her emotions doesn't mean that everyone else can't.

The really scary part of this is that there seem to be many people out there who believe this crap: that the execution was fake; it was faked by the Israelis; the media promotes war (well, there is some truth in that as we recall from the run-up to W's war on Iraq); and so on and so forth.

I have to admit that when I see the ravings of the deluded and ignorant, my first reaction is to say "They shouldn't be allowed." Then I remember that they have a First Amendment right to say their piece, even if it is wrong. I just wish that more people had the education and critical reasoning skills to protect themselves from the garbage.

Proceed with caution

Where's the blood? Here:

warning Foley's hands are bound behind his back, so the head is actually on his back

Last updated on Apr 13, 2018

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