The ISIS threat to behead British hostage David Haines couldn’t have been more impeccably timed for David Cameron, arriving less than 48 hours before a speech by the British Prime Minister in which he began to build a case for air strikes targeting Syria.
Haines appeared at the end of a video released on Tuesday which purported to show the beheading of American journalist Steven Sotloff. The ISIS militant in the footage threatens to kill Haines if the US and the UK do not “back off” from fighting ISIS.
At the start of the NATO summit in Wales this morning, Cameron cited the video as one of the reasons why air strikes on Syria cannot be ruled out, as he began re-building a case for military aggression that failed last year following dubious claims about who was responsible for the Ghouta chemical weapons attack.
For Cameron, who has been struggling to build political support for air strikes on ISIS, the threat to behead Haines couldn’t have been more timely.
And therein lies the completely illogical foundation of the alleged beheading videos. The release of the footage does nothing to encourage the US and the UK to “back off” fighting ISIS, it achieves the exact opposite, creating a casus belli for expanded western military operations in the middle east.
British forensic experts who analyzed the footage of the alleged beheading of James Foley concluded that the video was probably “staged” using “camera trickery and slick post-production techniques,” and that no blood was seen even though Foley was supposedly being decapitated.
The Steven Sotloff video bears all the same hallmarks – same setting, same ISIS militant, same editing techniques. Like Foley, Sotloff’s calm and composed demeanor as he reads out his statement belies the notion that he is about to be brutally murdered. There is also a total absence of blood as Sotloff begins to have his throat cut.
The fact that both videos do not actually show either individual being beheaded contradicts other ISIS footage which underscores the fact that the militant group is not squeamish when it comes to exhibiting the gruesomeness of its barbarity.
Written by PAUL JOSEPH WATSON
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