[Marxism] Questions About the "Boy Beheads Two Regime Officers"Video

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Dec 17 17:12:53 MST 2012

Here's a comment on the beheading video posted to North Star by Brian 
Slocum, a close observer of the Arab Spring:

To All and Sundry:
The video referred to in the Patrick Cockburn article that Tony links to 
in his post was reported in the UK press several days ago. I was 
involved in an exchange about it on the Guardian blog at the time, and 
tried to check it out as fully as I could. My feeling was that it looked 
suspect, but since I don’t have the necessary skills to do a systematic 
evaluation I left it at that. So I am surprised to see this blank cheque 
being issued for it by Cockburn – a journalist with great experience in 
combat situations, whose judgement I would normally respect. Its not 
clear to me what he bases his assessment on – he quotes the judgement of 
“Nadim Houry, the deputy director for Human Rights Watch”. OK. I can 
find no mention of this affair on the HRW website (but they don’t rush 
to judgement on things); but there is also no mention of it in Houry’s 
twitter feed. However he is caught up investigating n the Aqrab massacre 
(something we need to keep our eye on).

On the video itself: There are several versions of this around; the 
earliest seems to have been taken from a state tv channel which heavily 
pixilated the images (quite understandably) but this meant that it was 
possible that it was a fake. Eventually I located an unedited clip which 
shows the whole process; but as Pravda pointed out, it appears that the 
beheading was of a corpse, so the possibility of fakery is still there. 
As I say, I don’t have the knowledge to inquire further, but I have 
several questions that I hope those who do will answer in the coming days:

1. this is not the first “beheading” video to appear – I found two going 
back 18 months on YouTube (one very likely a fake) and a couple more 
recently. Why the stir over this one? Obviously its because of the 
involvement of a child. But isn’t that a bit conveninet for the regime?

2. Provenance. Where exactly does this video come from? We know that one 
version is from state tv. The unedited one I found had been posted from 
Australia from a YouTube account opened expressly to post this one 
video. But where to they get them from? There do exist jihadist websites 
on which records of such actions are posted, but as I understand it, 
they are usually accompanied by declamations and claims of 
responsibilities. This video appears to have nothing on it but the 
graphic incident. Why would a jihadist group issue such a truncated 
version? And if there is a fuller version why did the distributors not 
include the additional material? The video was of poor quality – looked 
like mobile phone job- if it was taken by one of the participants as a 
personal record, how did it leak out?. And why does no one seem to have 
identified the victims?

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