Listen To You Tell Me Texas Friday 2/6/15
Fox News has come under fire for posting the full video of the Jordanian pilot who was put in a cage and burned to death by the Islamist terror group ISIS. According to its critics, many of whom are billed as terrorism experts, Fox News is aiding and abetting ISIS by giving them exactly what they want – a platform by which to spread terror and incite new recruits to their cause.
That criticism is valid to a point but only to a point. There is propaganda value in the video for the good guys as well. The video does more to bring about a clear understanding of the evil that confronts us than an army of talking head “experts” appearing on TV.
The video is at once repulsive, riveting and instructive. (You can see it here. WARNING! EXTREMELY GRAPHIC & DISTURBING!)
From start to finish, it runs nearly 23 minutes. The first thing you notice is that it is very well-produced – on a par with the best propaganda produced by any Western nation. The production values – which include multiple camera angles, graphics, a music score and sophisticated video effects – put the lie to the idea that ISIS is the “J-V” as President Obama characterized them. To the contrary, ISIS is obviously well-funded, sophisticated and media-savvy. They’re varsity all the way.
The first 17 minutes of the video consist of pure propaganda. The Jordanian pilot is made to perform. He walks in front of a line of masked soldiers. He delivers a statement directly into the camera. Damage supposedly caused by his bombing is shown.
Then comes murder by the most horrific means imaginable. The pilot is outdoors inside a metal cage of about eight by ten feet. Wearing an orange jump suit, he stands in the cage as a masked soldier puts a torch to a line of sand that has been soaked in accelerant. The flame runs the 20 feet or so to the inside of the cage before igniting what quickly becomes a lake of fire, which in turn completely engulfs the pilot.
It takes an agonizingly long time for him to die. It is wrenching to watch. Many will be unable to do so and that’s perfectly understandable.
Nevertheless, net of all considerations pro and con, I believe that Fox performs a service by posting the video. It should be watched – if not by everybody then by at least enough of us so that the discussion of Islamic terror can be more pointed and less academic.
Seeing the video shatters any delusions that the West can somehow live with ISIS. It makes abundantly clear that ISIS has no desire to be reasoned with.
And it makes clear that they are not Presbyterians or Methodists or Catholics. They are, despite the president’s reluctance to say so, Islamic terrorists who will keep doing what they’re doing – escalating at every opportunity – until they are stopped.
King Abdullah of Jordan understands this. What is needed more than anything right now is an American president with the same clarity.