The messages themselves have caused even further irritation by their content. Not that it was not to be expected to find American casualties, this is only the logical consequence of the means and ends of their war. But it seemed to have shocked or at least surprised some of the usual suspects for militarist apologies that there is none of the the excessive brutality that is flooding the video channels from the battle zones of so many countries. Suffering, agony and death spasms as well as gruesome anatomical details, splattered blood and the visible smell of all this can be found there in countless small incidents exceeding the capacity of any first aid kit. Yet nothing is further off the mark than the rating of the Islamic state messages as “snuff videos” when in fact the footage of the beheading fades out in the earlies possible moment irreversibility is indisputable and adds nothing to this but a still of the dead corpse. Anyone looking for any documentation of bodily struggle against forced death comes out of the film entirely empty-handed because there is no such depiction. The victims have their last words documented, but the process of dying as such is not visible and hence the argument that this was the substance fuelling the multiplication of the message is not true. In fact this quality has misled some observers to the point that they questioned the authenticity of the messages and raised doubts whether killing had taken place at all. It is true, in the commercial culture of capitalism brutality is so prevalent as an element of entertainment and deprivation that a lack of gruesome details can be understood as a lack of authenticity. But it seems more helpful to reduce the look to the last still that can be taken before the fade-out than to extend it to the output of a war propaganda industry. It is, that is the message of the cut, more important what these victims say before their death than how they die.
And indeed, these statements have their value in themselves. They do contain more truth than anything a democratic politician could want to say. Although on death row, these people seem to have had a more informed and deeper look at the overall developments of the imperialist war of aggression against the world than they would get from commercial media. And even though or maybe precisely because they talk in the grammar of the first person, as the speakers argue with their own egos, they represent a pleasant contrast to the commercial and political propaganda of the imperialist states in which the first person does only appear as a lie, and when a narrator explains “I buy that product” or “I like that job” it is obvious that the person is a mere slave of money and that it is the money cult that is talking as if it had a soul. The same cannot be said about the victim speeches in the Islamic state broadcasts. Quite the contrary, it is unlikely that a person who has realised that the content of their address has no mitigation effect on the perspective of their death would censor their own words in order to attempt to convince an executioner to stop. Of course there can be speculation how many takes might have been aborted until the recording of the final version, but a person who would deviate from the orders of the producer would probably be more likely to die off camera than be forced into a covert deception. The only explanation giving weight to the assertion that these people were so scared that they merely recited something the Islamic state would have scripted to shove into their mouths is that they already were incapable to find their own words before they had been captured. But if that were to be the case, their culture would have had a problem with itself way before any pressure was put on it.
Nevertheless, the victims ask questions, state facts and raise doubts about the imperialist onslaught that should instead be part of the public discourse. It can be argued that only because these truths have been repressed from the public with the full force of the war propaganda machinery they must reappear in the words of these who lost all hope for survival. Both the imperialist project and its rivals standing aside the ailing centre of power in order to attempt to inherit it are caught up in ever more crass contradictions between their words and deeds, as serial murders, robot torture and the spying scandals seem to find no end. It is true that the American nightmare is economically bankrupt, morally lost and headed into extinction-level insanity, as well as its allies, and it is true that the public awareness of the problem appears to decrease as the problem increases. Nothing proved this more clearly than the effect of the first message on the discourse of the Fergusson murders. The public had just got used to fraudulent language which avoided to call a murder a murder if it was committed by the police state, when the first execution video surfaced and everyone found that it was being described as murder. The double standard exposed was so obvious that the immediate side-effect on Fergusson was a blow to the emerging protest movement, because it had got a glimpse where phoney reconciliation efforts will lead when in fact the guilt is asymmetric and it is only the police which has to ask for forgiveness if it wants to – to ever more police murders renamed in a morally sterile fashion. While one might possibly classify Fergusson as an act of war of the system against the people rather than as a murder, with the Islamic state this definitely is the case. If the Islamic state executions are called murders, then this is the case for all acts of war of the Americans in the region, and any bombing, shooting or poisoning operation is to be recognised as such. But if that is acknowledged without double standard, it reaffirms the statements of the executed about the big picture of the war.
It has to be pointed out that so far there is no specific climate reference in either the words of the victims or the executioners – they revolve around military non-interference and reciprocation. Yet if environmental legacies such as a dam are mentioned they do occur as assets not as weapons. The Islamic state has not said anything about causing floods by blowing up dams, presumably because it is not in its interest, and yet the military interference takes that risk. Neither is the Islamic state an environmental project or has any intention to become one. It is a financial offspring of the fossil energy industry and its income is resulting from there, yet in its current form it obviously is an unintended consequence thereof. In fact the delay of energy reforms by the imperialist wars has brought ever more revenues to the ailing fiefdoms once set up to guarantee the exploitation, so that a significant share thereof is being diverted to change that. In its current form, the Islamic state represents the discontent heirs of the fossil exploiters, who realise what that role has brought upon their cultures and attempt to use what they have to put an end to it. It is probably this origin due to which it might in an incomplete perception appear as something even more ruthless than the energy industry, while in fact it is the part of wealth that split from it exactly because it has understood where the fossil system is headed. After Rome became the first empire in history to be both survived and succeeded by some of its victims, with Christianity more often than not being only the distorted representation of that development, Islam is not merely a response to this legacy but also to a climate catastrophe that has already happened. Being born in the desert resulting from the devastations of the pre-industrial empires, due to its position in accessing the remaining fossil resources it is now in the role of an administrator of the desertification caused by industrial imperialism. The conflict over the sovereignty of the pilgrimage sites, for which the territorial base ahead of it is a mere instrument, is necessarily a climate conflict by destination because it already is a generation conflict by demography. A change of the course towards extinction can only be obtained by a removal of the current system. That is the consistent climate argument underlying the entire conflict so deeply that it does not even need to be mentioned again and again. But only when everyone becomes aware of it the obvious outcome can be prevented.
One merely technical detail in the Islamic state messages must be discussed as well. The speaker addresses the current president of the Mormonic state individually by name. This is unusual as politicians can be exchanged with little effect. And even though the demand for reciprocation against the imperialist is legitimate, it seems an idealisation to assume that the mere perspective of truth might convince a mass murderer to back off. If that were possible it would already have happened. It would make more sense if that president spoke its last words into a camera. Why it is being mentioned probably has a merely indirect reason. When six years ago the idea of change by succession had reached its high water mark, the prognosis of the future as it is now present probably would have been put aside as a pessimist scenario. The name cited by the Islamic state speaker merely serves as an icon to illustrate the fact that elections are meaningless, because it is the unelected apparatus which has a president and not the elected president that has an apparatus. Yet due to this, the unborn historical bystander will be able to assign the footage to a specific time. He might come to watch the execution of the person with that name first, before finding it addressed as a politician in earlier ones.
For the external observer, the Islamic state messages to America are the message that extinction is not merely real as a final conclusion of planetary disasters yet to result from the industrial period, but incorporated by the war machinery of a present regime that once tried to obtain legitimacy even from the ambition to stop the rise of the sea level. According to prevailing definition, an extremist is a person who keeps sufficient distance to the powers that be, in order to be safe in the case of their fall. Hence, a climate extremist would be the person which keeps that distance from the various extinction risks which are to be expected. When that is not possible for territorial reasons, only the possibility of political distance remains. Obviously, the phoney Buddhists presented for execution were extremists, for what they said in fact indicated some distance to the powers that be. But from an evolutionary perspective, extremism is a good thing because it bears the potential of survival both as an individual and as a species. Had not the mammals parted ways with the lizards, the world would never have developed beyond the extinction of the dinosaurs. In fact with that step evolution itself became a climate extremist as the mammal body was now independent from the whims of the micro-climate in the face of the risk of an unreliable assumption of security and stability. The anticipation of the unspeakable turned out to be the only way to escape otherwise unavoidable extinction. The Islamic state is the early mammal that bites the dinosaur´s eggs when the outside temperature brings all reptilian life to a temporary halt – the proverbial “hopeful monster” of evolutionary biology – a decisive step ahead the hitherto prevailing species but not yet the overall prototype of the future. In any case however, if the latter finds time to devote to their studies to them, the last things will be the first things and the question what brought about those deserts is going to be more significant than the tactical details of the conflict which finally ended these destructive forces.
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- Why is the Nonproliferation Treaty Failing? (9.1.) - https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2014/01/514650.html
- The Death of the Inclusion Policy in the East Asian Shelf Waters (16.1.) - https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2014/01/514789.html
- Triple Treason in the Caucasus (23.1.) - https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2014/01/514946.html
- NATO. Obituary to a Nukepool (27.1.) - https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2014/01/515002.html
- Obey or Die - The Pathology of Organised Treason in Europe (21.2.) - https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2014/02/515538.html
- The Suicide Attack Against indymedia and its Cause (28.2.) - https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2014/02/515677.html
- What does the Invasion of Yalta Mean for the European Peninsula? (8.3.) - https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2014/03/515828.html
- Why is Poland a Nazi Client State? (15.3.) - https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2014/03/515949.html
- Palestine, the United Nations and the Refugees (21.3.) - https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2014/03/516041.html
- The External Cost of Spying (28.3.) - https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2014/03/516118.html
- How Deep Is the Atlantic Divide Really? (8.4.) - https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2014/04/516271.html
- Boko Haram – An Image From The Future (4.5.) - https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2014/05/516551.html
- The Pacific Fata Morgana and its Imperialist Origins (12.5.) - https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2014/05/516662.html
- The German Sustainability Scam and its Fascist Purpose (21.5.) - https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2014/05/516731.html
- Hindu Supremacism – A Spent Force of Casino Capitalism (30.5.) - https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2014/05/516814.html
- Birth of an Independent Hope – the Revolution in West Asia (26.6.) - https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2014/06/517081.html
- Macropolitical Side-Effects of the Imperialist Occupation of the Philippines (4.7.) - https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2014/07/517113.html
- Gaza – Vivisection of a Death Cult (20.7.) - https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2014/07/517265.html
- The Japanese Occupation Legacy – A Defining Ingredient of Totalitarian Democracy (28.7.) - https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2014/07/517363.html
- The Gaza Massacre – Implications and Consequences (5.8.) - https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2014/08/517537.html
- Double Emergency Alert: Ebola Acceleration, Internet Smokescreen (8.8) - https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2014/08/517551.html
- Must Christians in the Islamic State Suffer Another Bloodbath? (11.8.) - https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2014/08/517608.html
- Atomic Testing in the Digital Age (13.8.) - https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2014/08/517630.html