Reprinted from Reader Supported News
The U.S. and British media outlets got a lot of mileage out of the man they dubbed "Jihadi John." His real name was Mohammed Emwazi, and his genesis from British citizen to ISIS poster boy is now the subject of quite a bit more press than he deserved.
Mohammed "Jihadi John" Emwazi made himself famous making snuff films and distributing them on the internet. Co-starring in the films were Western hostages whose worst crime was likely to have been allowing themselves to be captured by ISIS fighters.
The barbarism and bloodletting displayed in Emwazi's beheading films was as shocking as it was purposeful. Emwazi needed a worldwide audience to promote ISIS, and the Western press was only too happy to oblige.
It would be nice to dismiss Emwazi's beheading videos as isolated barbarity. In fact, as is often the case, the violence depicted in Emwazi's videos beget more violence. Beheading videos now seem to be standard fare in the region, with ISIS fighters recording their executions, fighters opposed to ISIS like Jaysh al-Islam recording theirs and even the U.S.-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) Assad opposition fighters are accused of following suit in dispatching Assad military personnel. Emwazi apparently did not understand that video cameras are cheap and so is life with his mindset.
We are told by U.S. Pentagon spokespersons that Emwazi died in an American airstrike on a vehicle he occupied in Raqqa, Syria, in November 2015. Unable to produce Emwazi's body, the U.S. is taking the position that he likely "evaporated" in the explosion.
Coming in the wake of what U.S. officials described as a "burial at sea" for Osama bin Laden, Emwazi's purported evaporation marks a trend in the demise of high-profile Jihadi militants. They die, they disappear, and we are left to trust the uncorroborated accounts of U.S. officials. A concept not everyone is entirely comfortable with.
If fomenting Jihad is a concern, a closer look at GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz might be in order. The ambitious Harvard-educated senator from Texas is apparently every bit as intent on conflict as Emwazi, and what he's proposing is quite a bit more extreme.
Jihadi John produced disturbing and horrific videos. His actions were beneath the dignity of all men, but against the backdrop of conflict in the region over the past quarter of a century it was a modest killing spree. Jihadi Ted would apparently seek to take things quite a bit further. Speaking to a Tea Party event in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Cruz had this to say:
"We will carpet-bomb them into oblivion ... I don't know if sand can glow in the dark, but we're going to find out."
Cruz, never having served in the military and obviously not a student of the implications of carpet-bombing, fails to take into consideration several things.
One: If you think there is a refugee crisis in Europe now, wait until Jihadi Ted starts carpet-bombing Western Iraq and Eastern Syria. The refugees will stream out of the region on a scale that the Western world can little imagine.
Two: Our European allies, sensing utter catastrophe, will abandon our cowboy militarism just as quickly as they did in 2003.
Three: Carpet-bombing the Western Iraq/Eastern Syrian region is likely to kill, maim, and displace millions of civilians while failing to crush ISIS or even kill many of their fighters, who will conveniently be long gone.
Four: Wherever the ISIS commanders and fighters flee to, they will be rejoicing. The Islamic world will unite against the West, and we will be facing 10,000 points of armed conflict around the world with a fractured coalition.
What makes Jihadi John and Jihadi Ted so similar in their methods is their willingness to use human suffering to implement military and social agendas. Ted Cruz is spewing this invective with a purpose that Machiavelli would be proud of. In short, this is all an attempt on the part of Cruz to best his Republican/Tea Party rivals in their race for the GOP nomination. Consequences mean nothing; power, everything.
Ted Cruz's birth name is Rafael Cruz, after his father of the same name. His father was born in Cuba. Interestingly, his father fought for Castro's revolution, but his aunt fought against it. Cruz's parents, Rafael Cruz and Eleanor Darragh Wilson, are either Canadian citizens or not, depending on which version you believe. In either case it appears Cruz was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, on December 22, 1970. The family moved to the U.S. a few years later. There is a lukewarm "Cruz is not a citizen" movement out there, although no one seems to care. U.S. citizenship notwithstanding, Cruz appears to pursue the U.S. presidency unimpeded.