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It's been one week since the London Times published the story of the murder of Atwar Bahjat. Within hours some serious questions were raised about the accuracy of the report, questions to which the Times has offered no response. The only additional information published thus far on their web site is a letter from a reader expressing outrage over the brutal murder. It would seem the Times is standing by their original story.
I've seen no conclusive evidence either way. It's possible the Times does have a video of the murder that no one else has seen, and that it is very similar to another killing in another video. It's also possible the Times was the victim of a cruel hoax, and that the reporter who knew Atwar Bahjat was duped by the power of suggestion into believing the man killed in a low-quality video was her.
It's also possible that other motivations are guiding their actions - and that they are perpetrating or advancing the hoax. Since the venerable Times offers no words at all on the topic, we are left to draw our own conclusions.
This is the truth (for many of us all the truth we need): Atwar Bahjat is dead. She was kidnapped and murdered. The man in the widely circulated video is dead, he was kidnapped and murdered.
The Times story has undeniably raised the public profile of both killings, perhaps of all such killings worldwide. But not surprisingly, the response of said public has been mixed.
At least, not surprisingly if you've been paying attention. A few weeks ago "some" rushed to support and defend videotaped remarks made by journalist Jill Carroll condemning the US invasion of Iraq, and attacked those who suggested she may not have been well treated by her captors. If they felt any sense of shame upon learning she made those comments with a gun to her head and later renounced them they chose not to acknowledge it.
More recently the New York Times and the Associated Press felt compelled to rush to the defense of Abu Musab al Zarqawi (perhaps the man responsible for Carroll's kidnapping and Bahjat's murder) when the US released captured video outtakes from his latest propaganda film.
And last week several commenters here and elsewhere (including the London Times) were quick to cite the US as bearing the ultimate guilt for the butchering of whoever that was in that grisly video.
If you're one of those folks you've probably deeply rationalized your behavior already. By all means, feel free to share that in the comments below. But if you cheered when first hearing Jill Carroll's "confession", and agree that Zarqawi's incompetence with weapons should in no way diminish his iconic status, or feel that after all it was you and me is the answer to the question "who killed Atwar Bahjat?" then you might want to take a few precious moments for some internal self inspection to determine exactly where you stand in the war on terror.
To Zarqawi, the guy who wrote Jill Carroll's script, and that guy with the knife in that other video the answer is obvious.
.." then you might want to take a few precious moments for some internal self inspection to determine exactly where you stand in the war on terror."
This was a rhetorical suggestion was it not?
Don't we all know exactly where this type of creature stands? Didn't we know where it stood yesterday, and where precisely it will stand tomorrow, come what may ? It's not really pro-Zarquawi and all his works ; it's merely indifferent to him as opposed to its delusional hatred of you-know-who.
'Internal self-inspection'. A concept so foreign to some of the self-absorbed that it is akin to levitation. Both difficult to credit and certainly impossible to perform. These defenders of the indefensible are -- (please fill in the blank as you see fit). I have decided that using serious profanity in public discourse is a sign of weakness, and without the proper tools, I would have trouble providing a proper desecriptive analysis.
I'd like to hit them all with my shoe. The bottom of my shoe. Many, many,many times.Posted by dougf at May 14, 2006 03:44 PM
Trying out a somewhat mechanistic psychological approach to explain the blame so reflexly assigned to the actors against this sadomasochistic terrorism by their own [our] otherwise assumed compatriots: those people who assign guilt or blame to, say, America, for all the heinous acts committed by Zarqawi, enc., have attributed by virtue of a strong denial mechanism both invincibility and omnipotence to America. Such people are avoiding reality, and at some level they know it and actually do see Zarqawi's real threat to survival and freedom. Obviously, America is neither invincible nor omnipotent, but the reflexive assigners of guilt to America have in effect assumed these things by necessity - the necessity of their own nature as they themselves see it.
When such people then "logically" blame America for Zarqawi's acts, what they are really doing is acknowledging their own guilt for making their original assumptions by way of denial's fiat to begin with. They are blaming themselves for imposing upon their own selfs impotence and lack of responsibility regarding the matter of doing anything to stop Zarqawi's evil. They don't like it but think they can't do anything about their sad state, which involves then a severe self-loathing as the very nature of their own selfs, especially when they see others actually trying to do something about the obvious evil and threat Zarqawi embodies.
So they essentially see a kinship between themselves and Zarqawi, at least as enablers of Zarqawi. Further into the denial mechanisms and self-loathing comes, then, an escapist affirmation of sympathy for Zarqawi who is their functional equivalent in terms of evil, and they know it. They want forgiveness or at least an excuse by way of "understanding", which is why they keep telling us that we must "understand" the evildoers instead of stopping them while undertanding them at the same time. But they can't forgive themselves precisely because they do understand themselves.
I don't feel any guilt in trying to stop any of them.Posted by J. Peden at May 14, 2006 06:21 PM
There is no question that western nihilistic leftists have gone full circle, on the back side, and joined with their fascistic anti-American brethren in supporting Muqtada Sadr, Iranian death squads, Dawa, Wahhabi militants, and now we see Abu Musab Zarqawi.
When history comes about to write on this shameful episode, and condemn the contemptible support of Islamofascism that the postmodern so-called leftists provide, it will not be a pretty picture.
In a sense Iraq is secondary. But what has happened is a polarization. Not between left and right - as so obviously the postmodern leftists have joined with the ultra-right America bashers.
The polarization is between decent people who continue to fight for freedoms, democracy, justice, and equality, and the totalitarians who are only interested to grab power in order to engineer society to their own utopian and demented image.Posted by Sharifabadi at May 14, 2006 10:12 PM Hide Comments | Show/Add Comments in Popup Window(3) | (Note: You must refresh main page to view newly posted comments here)