November 16, 2004
13 Zero Days Since Last Beheading Video, and why Kevin Sites is a traitor
UPDATE: I spoke too soon. Margaret Hassan has been murdered in a new video tape.
I has been 13 days since the last time terrorists released a beheading video. The terrorists are on the run. For the past several months they have released a new snuff film at least once a week, sometimes more. With increased US pressure on terrorist strongholds like Fallujah, it seems that the groups responsible no longer have the luxery of producing propaganda films aimed at weakening the resolve of the Allies and at showing the Iraqi people that we are not invincible. This is a good sign. Keep them on the defensive.
Our campaign in Fallujah has uncovered the depths of the morally bankrupt system that is the jihadis dream. Posters were found throughout the city which "listed religious infractions, such as women not covering their heads or men selling music, which would be met with death. " Prisons, torture chambers, dens of beheading, the corpses of the exectued, and even a mutilated body show what life under terrorist rule is like.
While an anti-American propagandist at the Associated Press claims that US Marines were intentionally shooting at all civilians trying to flee Fallujah, those poor souls who suffered under the Taliban like rule of the terrorists tell a different story; "some of whom recount how guerilla snipers shot anyone who tried to leave their home once the assault on the city began."
So, while the mainstream press attempts to focus our attention away from the horror of our enemies toward the infractions of a lone Marine in the heat and passion of battle, let's remember to keep some perspective. We prosecute those who kill the unarmed, they reward them. We are ashamed of such behavior, they celebrate it. Our goal is to liberate the individual from oppression, their's is to oppress the individual through coerced obedience.
Ultimately our moral superiority lies in the fact that the system we fight for is better. Every individual soldier is not better than they, but the system for which they fight is.
This brings up an important question: what should Kevin Sites have done with his story on a lone Marine who murdered a wounded insurgent? The answer is simple: he should have reported the incident up the chain of command, period.
By playing the journalistic whore that he is, he has made things much worse for our fighting men and women. Remember Abu Ghraib? This is worse than Abu Ghraib. Abu Ghraib was nothing more than a bunch of childish pranks which offended cultural sensitivities. This was murder.
When the terrorists murder innocent Westerners they go to great lengths to dress them in the garb of Abu Ghraib. Because of the reckless way in which the media portrayed that scandal, many in the Middle East became convinced that the abuse at the infamous prison was just as bad under the US occupation as it was under Saddam Hussein. Abu Ghraib was the turning point. After Abu Ghraib many in Iraq became convinced that since the Americans were equally brutal, they might indeed have been better off under Saddam Hussein--at least under Hussein there was peace.
Kevin Sites, more interested in a Pulitzer than in the lives of American soldiers, has stolen the victory which was Fallujah and handed us defeat. Already, al Jazeera and the Arab News portray the Fallujah assault as one of murder, mass civilian casualties, and a humanitarian nightmare. Add Sites' report to the mix of lies routinely broadcast around the Arab world and what you get is proof positive, in the eyes of many, that the US is exactly as Noam Chomsky describes it: the world's greatest terrorist.
If this is your worldview, then are you not justified in taking up arms against the US? Those who fight us do so because they believe what they see on TV--America is the oppressor; America is killing children in Iraq on a mass scale; America has brought mayhem to the region; America wishes to destroy Islam; and American soldiers are murderers just like Saddam Hussein or any other corrupt regime in the region.
Because Kevin Sites could not control his journalistic instincts, we will see another onslaught of beheadings. The terrorists will find that they have a sympathetic population and will find new places to locate their torture chambers.
More young men will join the insurgency, because what choice does one have when a foreign power brutalizes your nation. More Americans will die as a result.
Kevin Sites, you are a traitor. Kevin Sites, you have murdered our friends and neighbors. Kevin Sites, I hope you rot in hell.
It has been 13 days since the terrorists last released a beheading video. Do not expect another 13 days to pass before the next one.
UPDATE: It has begun. In addition to al Jazeera and Arab News running this as their headline story, NEIN reports that the jihadis have begun to post the video on Islamic bulletin boards.
UPDATE II: Make that Kevin Sites and Chris Matthews--traitors both.
UPDATE III: Via the Big Picture, this from Article 37, paragraph 1, of the Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions of August 12, 1949:
It is prohibited to kill, injure or capture an adversary and resort to perfidy. ...
The following acts are examples of perfidy... (b) the feigning of an incapacitation by wounds or sickness
Post Script-I wrote this post without seeing any blog reaction, but as I look around the blogosphere I am glad to see I am in good company. I'm adding what others are saying because, well, I'm just wondering how original my thoughts are. Not Very. I don't include all those commenting, just those that caught my fancy. If you, for some reason, want to be included in the linkfest, just drop me a line. Jane also has a good blog roundup. Chad also has more to say, similar to me.
Sue Bob: The media appears to already be reveling in the opportunities for spin this story presents--and to hell with the impact it has on the troops or the mission. I'm putting this one first, because she does a great job in actually researching Kevin Sites. The gist is that Sites' original story may not be nearly as bad as I have portrayed it, but that editors are responsible for taking the context out of the report.
Jeff Goldstein: Iâ€™m sick of moral scolds in the press and elsewhere buying cheap grace by singling out for scorn soldiers whoâ€™ve reacted in the heat of battle to threats they perceive to be real and grave.
Commissar: Too much to quote. Excellent post. Has made me rethink my position on this Marine being a war-criminal.
The Man: Suggests sending Lcpl Brian Hooper, the Marine who killed the Iraqi, a care package!
Armed Liberal: That's what makes us different from them. We put our murderers on trial. They put theirs on wall murals.
Brain Shavings: Keep in mind that our side isn't the bunch that decapitates hostages, targets civilians, fakes white flags, and lures the opposition in with fake wounded.
Johnny Walker Red: Responding to Atrios--We are at war with a murderous, totalitarian, racist ideology which has no remorse or honor, and swears allegiance to no country. If American Leftists were as outraged by the enemyâ€™s atrocities as they are by our mistakes, weâ€™d be a lot farther along in this war. The terroristsâ€™ worst nightmare is a united United States.
Ace: The left's new Abu Ghraib?
Lorie Byrd: It will be interesting to see whether or not the media latches onto this video as the next Abu Ghraib.
Total War: I believe that it is too early for Americans to begin to turn this incident into an Abu Ghrab. This America does not need.
Digger: This is a war, this plain clothes terrorist was attacking our soldiers from inside a "protected" mosque in direct violation of the rules of war.
Cameron: What will you rail against in your editorials? What horrifies you more?  Terrible things that come in the heat of the battle?  Or terrible things that come out of cold-blooded policy?
Jane: How many times a day will this video play on al-Jazeera vs. the tape of the Marines giving out food and water?
Six Meat Buffet: So prepare yourselves, CNNABCNBCCBSMSNBCNPRPBS will be all over this like a hood over an Abu Ghraib prisoner.
Froggy: By the way, terrorists who chop off civilian's heads are not prisoners, they are carcasses.
Kevin Aylward: War is not a video game, it's raw, unscripted, and emotional.
Rob at Say Anything: But before anyone gets too carried away in condemnig this lets take a moment to remember just who it is that we're fighting.
Alec Rawls: If he was in the right, or was at least not criminally in the wrong, I hope the Pentagon has the balls to come out and explain to the world media--who will doubtless be crying for the Marine's head--that this is war.
Jwookie (nice name): the PC vultures in the media and even those in the government are already circling this poor marine
American Soldier: You media fucks who want to burn those Marines are not worth the sweat off my......just go fuck yourself!
McQ: We STILL donâ€™t condone murder ...unlike the enemy we face in Fallujah
Captain Ed: Unless someone comes up with a memo that shows Donald Rumsfeld telling our troops that they can shoot anything that moves, this isn't an indictment of the war effort; at worst, it's one Marine that committed a crime, and from where I sit, it's probably not even that.
Silflay Hraka doubts what was done was a war-crime.
Mitch at Shot in the Dark has the run-down on the lefty reaction to this. He notes that they are indeed doing what I feared the most--turning this into another Abu Ghraib.
Hyscience: One can always count on 'Whackos' who have never seen the fog of war, nor seen their comrades die beside them, nor spent days with only a couple hours of sleep, nor experienced the fear and anxiety of death for days on end, to make a sterile, clinical judgement on a fellow human being that volunteered to risk his or her life so that the rest of us can go shopping at WalMart without getting blown up!
Dave's Not Here: In fact, I'm sure it will reign as more important in the media than the turn toward instability in Gaza following the death of Arafat.
Blackfive: Sites chose headlines over our Marines.
Jeff Brokaw: I find it interesting that, given the evident depravity of the enemy, which hides in mosques, doesn't wear uniforms, cuts heads off live bodies, and booby traps dead bodies, American media would instead choose to sensationalize what might be a normal "everyday" type of war crime.
Feste: It's a pity that our networks and MSM cannot see beyond getting the scoop.
Sgt. Hook: Iâ€™m appalled at the prosecution by the media of the young Marine
Laughing Wolf: In other words, he was more interested in glory and headlines for him, and giving aid to the enemy, than justice for anyone. He also did so knowing that it would place Americans and American troops in harms way. This was not a breathless crusade to see justice done, but a grab for glory with other people paying a blood price.
Jeff: As for Kevin Sites, in journalism, as in any job, there's a way to do it with integrity, but if you lack that inner quality, no one can explain it to you. Turning the tape over to Al Jazeera, which has colluded with child killers & beheaders in Iraq, suggests Sites' soul is as dry & dessicated as sand