*—Note, this nickname for the black-clad executioner host of these beheading videos is explained here.
British Prime Minister David Cameron, who figures prominently in this third episode, denounced the Islamic State video in harsh terms:
"David [Haines] has been murdered in the most callous and brutal way imaginable by an organisation which is the embodiment of evil...[Islamic State] boast of their brutality. They claim to do this in the name of Islam. That is nonsense. Islam is a religion of peace. They are not Muslims. They are monsters."In the video, the execution of Haines is prefaced by a clip of Cameron, talking about giving arms to the Kurds, and sticking to the “very clear foreign policy and very clear strategy…and [British] military prowess…to do everything we can to put the pressure on Islamic State, this appalling organization”.
The IS video is entitled, “A Message To The Allies Of America”, and, according to NBC Chief Foreign Correspondent, Richard Engel, the key American ally targeted for messaging in this third beheading video is not the UK, but Turkey.
Engel explained on Meet the Press today:
"It’s a message to the world...But it is also a very specific message it seems, to Turkey. ISIS is holding more than 40 Turkish diplomats hostage...Turkey has been very reluctant to join this coalition, at least publicly, with the United States. Turkey would be essential. It’s right on the border. If the US wants to build an effective campaign, to build a free Syrian army, it probably has to be done through Turkey. And this is one way for ISIS to say, if Turkey joins, its diplomats are at risk."Whomever is the intended political audience, the grimness of these videos, the stylized way in which they are performed—not like a documentary of an execution but more like a music video—suggests another target of Islamic State is the huge market of disaffected youth, who may be drawn to these outlandish, extremely anti-authoritarian visual messages.
After all, Little Sissy Psycho (or Jihadi John or Mr. Bary), is working on his fourth episode now, with yet another British victim, Alan Henning, next up for execution, and neither America and its famed SEALs, nor American drones, nor any other force, has been able to successfully rescue the hostages held by Islamic State, nor have they stopped these beheading videos from being produced and distributed. And of course, nobody has been able to stop Little Sissy Psycho from killing.
So long as that is the case, Islamic State's beheading program must also be working as a big recruiting instrument for the Caliphate.
This may explain why the videos habitually cut away just as the victim's throat is being cut by the executioner. It avoids the most gruesome aspect of the beheading, and yet always displays the bloody corpse of the victim, with the murdered person's head resting on top. The effect, while grisly, is almost like a Halloween haunted-house corpse—neatly posed (except for the blood) and rather artificial seeming. And, as always, the victim is clothed in an orange jumpsuit, just as were the prisoners taken by the United States to Gitmo, the infamous prison for alleged Qaeda terrorists in Cuba.
Along with Obama's inability so far to provide a convincing narrative for how his strategy to defeat Islamic State could possible work as he has claimed, he should give a high priority to canceling the Little Sissy Psycho program. The longer it is on, the more inept and ineffectual Obama appears.