ISIS: Addressing a New Level of Brutality


The apparent leader of the Paris terror horrors is officially dead. Abdelhamid Abaaoud has been positively identified. He’s the one person most responsible for the estimated 129 deaths and 350 injuries in numerous separate attacks on the “The City of Light” (La Ville Lumière) on Friday night, unlucky Friday the 13th our time. Only it wasn’t a matter of bad luck, it was a matter of a vicious band of unfeeling zealots calling themselves ISIS or ISIL, bent on destruction of human lives, including their own.

Here’s what we’re dealing with.

Imagine you and a buddy have managed to wangle two decent seats for the Super Bowl. Your mediocre team, a 13 point underdog, is facing New England’s future Hall of Fame QB, Tom Brady. With 4 seconds remaining, your 40-year-old kicker knocks through an improbable field goal of 57 yards and incredibly, Brady and company creep off the field with a humiliating one-point defeat.


The entire stadium, made up of mostly fans of the underdog, goes bananas. You slap your pal’s back like you’re trying to unloosen a chicken bone. You hug every complete stranger in sight. Everybody’s screaming at the top of their lungs making guttural noises the human voice box seems incapable of producing. Hearts are racing. And this goes on for a good 15 minutes.

You now know what the reaction to an ISIS beheading is like. Crowds of dozens, sometimes hundreds, of ISIS followers, mostly young men, but with a fair sprinkling of teenagers and even children, have aped the very reactions of the fandom of an American NFL football game. Instead of rowdily cheering a rough and ready pigskin contest with its share of rolled ankles and torn up knees, ISIS is cheering a grotesquely severed head.

If you’re of a mind, you can see Internet videos of actual beheadings. If you can watch unedited gore, blood and gruesome theater, the Internet will accommodate you on any number of sites. And the final process won’t be blurred out; it will be there for you to see from beginning to end.

I wouldn’t recommend the following few paragraphs for the young and the squeamish. I’m going to describe what Americans would be facing in a confrontation with the incomprehensibly brutal group, ISIS.

The object of the imminent beheading is usually controlled by a central figure who recites the reason the pathetic, handcuffed individual is being led to a dusty, isolated plot of ground to lose his head and life in the most bloody and inhuman of circumstances. The clarion call, brushed liberally with religion, is quite loud and excitable as are those voices within earshot. From the videos I’ve seen, it appears there are usually 2 or 3 men in the immediate vicinity, including the executioner, oft-times the fellow making the bellowing pronouncements.

Standing some yards back is an extremely excitable crowd. A buzz of anticipation goes through their numbers. No question; they’re looking forward to this act with great fervor. There’s surprisingly little resistance from the object of the gathering; no flailing or attempts to escape. He seems resigned to his fate. Sometimes he answers questions, sometimes not. He is forced to his knees. During some pre-execution speeches, his head is touched often. The man wielding the blade does not appear to ever wear gloves. The feel, smell or presence of blood seems to have no impact on those in attendance, other than to lift them to new heights of exhilaration.

With little fanfare, the deadly deed commences. A curved scythe-type blade with a short handle makes an initial cut. In the videos I witnessed, it appeared to be just below the Adam’s apple. The blade is held against the neck as it is drawn cross-ways in repeated swiping motions. For the executioner and crowd, the action is a frightening combination of great quantities of blood, unfettered glee, zealotry and a total lack of feeling for a human life.

There is a steady cacophony of vocal excitement at the spectacle. The executioner runs into considerable resistance to the blade having to adopt a strategy of sawing across the stubborn anatomy of the neck. He re-positions the body often, seeking cooperative natural pathways to his goal. Incredibly, even as the blade sinks deeply into the victim’s neck, there is arm movement attempting to stop it. After about 3 to 5 minutes, the beheading is accomplished.

The newly severed head is grabbed by the hair and held aloft to the shouts of approval from the crowd; a crowd that has worked itself into a near hypnotic frenzy. The head is then positioned on the body at the chest or belly area. Great excitement and gleeful shouting still arises from the audience. They love the spectacle.

And that’s what appears to be a typical ISIS beheading.

Beheading goes back many hundreds of years. It was approved by Prophet Muhammad (570-632 CE or AD) and carried on with impunity right up to modern times. In Saudi Arabia decapitation was the legal mode of execution for such crimes as murder, rape, armed robbery, selling of drugs and apostasy (renouncing your religion). As recently as 2012, 76 criminals died at sword’s end by Saudi Sharia law. The sharpened sword blade is considered cleaner and less barbaric. Qatar, Iran and Yemen still go that route from time to time.

ISIS nastiness is not limited to beheadings. As in Paris, they’ll just as likely plant bombs in your facility or on themselves, or use the most powerful of side arms and rifles to end your life. And they are everywhere. Syria, France, Iraq and Belgium obviously, plus additional Middle East venues, especially Lebanon. You’ll also find their numbers in such far-flung regions as Thailand, where they’ve been waging a deadly incursion replete with numerous beheadings. They’ve established power bases in Nigeria as well, with the help of extremist BFF sympathizer, Boko Haram.

In short, ISIS is like the globe’s staph infection.

The U.S. must react. But, how? During their virtual around-the-clock coverage CNN reporters kept repeating the dream scenario of ISIS. “AMERICAN BOOTS ON THE GROUND.” That’s what most remaining candidates for the Republican presidential nomination want, with Donald Trump leading the parade and super-hawk, Lindsey Graham sweeping up the remains at the end. Democratic favorite Hillary Clinton wants to up the ante, but stops short of sending fighting troops other than Special Forces to a face-to-face confrontation.

An all-out war is unthinkable. That would energize every terrorist organization in the world to join ISIS; up to and including al-Qaeda. Call it what you want, but such a mano y mano move would be World War Three and essentially set Earth on fire. Much of the immolation would find its way into the United States. It’s tempting, but it’s potentially the loss of a generation and well into the millions of lives. People must realize that wars delay, often for decades, advances in all manner of medical, technical, intellectual and educational advances. We could have probably had working televisions in the 1920’s or 30’s had WW 1 not intervened.

One thing most Democrats and Republicans agree on…the U.S. can’t go it alone. That begs the question: Where in the hell is the UN? It takes more than menacing words from Security Council members to build a coalition.