The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #69657   Message #1183937
Posted By: Nerd
12-May-04 - 12:25 PM
Thread Name: BS: Iraqis Beheading Americans
Subject: RE: BS: Iraqis Beheading Americans
Kim C, sorry if I jumped to conclusions.

DougR, I can't agree that this was "subhuman" or even as someone else said "medieval." Not because I have a higher opinion than you of the actions, but because I prefer to be honest about human behavior. In ancient times, the Romans crucified thousands. In medieval times, the inquisition committed horrible acts of execution on essentially innocent people, and so did practically every secular authority. In eighteenth century France, supposedly the height of culture of civilization, beheading was a common form of execution, and many of the victims had committed no crimes. In nineteenth century England, being "pressed into service" (ie kidnapped) meant that you had gone from life in a parliamentary monarchy to an absolute autocracy, where your human rights could be taken away on a whim. If you rebelled, you could be "flogged round the fleet," beaten to death with a cat-o-nine-tails while seized to the gratings of a succession of different vessels (similar to what the Romans did to Jesus). Black men have been lynched by southern whites within living memory. Don't forget slavery, the holocaust, "ethnic cleansing."

Human life, in most places and most times, has been violent. Our thin veneer of a hundred years or so of politeness in Western Europe and America falls away pretty quickly in wartime; witness the atrocities admitted by American soldiers in Viet Nam, and the atrocities carried out by the VC as well.

This beheading was pretty violent, no question. It was immoral, profane, disgusting.

Unfortunately, it was also a hundred percent human.