I’m not a conspiracy theorist and don’t usually hang out at “9/11 truth” conventions, writes Roshan Muhammed Salih, but am I the only sane person in the world who finds that James Foley beheading video a bit fishy?
I mean it’s not as if I don’t believe that a deranged British jihadi could have committed that brutal act because my long experience of their mindset means I KNOW they could have.
Nevertheless, something still doesn’t quite add up, especially the video itself and whose interests it serves.
So is it beyond the bounds of possibility that MI6 or another western intelligence agency could have produced that video? Could the man in the balaclava be an MI6 agent? Could James Foley himself be a willing or unwilling accomplice in the charade? Could it have been a false flag?
What I do know is that the West is the main beneficiary from the video. All the focus now is on “ISIS extremism” and “crazy British jihadis”. The Western media has gone into “jihadi demonisation” overdrive. And no one will complain much if the West bombs Iraq a bit more or cracks down on “Muslim dissent” at home.
Western intelligence – despite the appearance of bumbling incompetence they sometimes attempt to project – knows the region very well and has been all over the Syria conflict (helping the rebels) from day one. If I predicted the mess that an armed uprising in Syria would lead to (which I did), I’m sure western intelligence could have figured it out as well.
Moreover, ISIS must be a very easy organisation to infiltrate as they seem to accept any idiot into their ranks. Security services aim to infiltrate, disrupt and divert and judging by the moronic actions and rhetoric of ISIS they must be easy pickings indeed.
But on top of the “Who benefits?” question, there are many things about the video itself which are bugging me.
1. Why don’t we see the actual act of execution?
As a journalist I’ve had the unpleasant experience of watching numerous ISIS videos and one thing they’re not shy about is showing the moment of death, especially when they’re beheading Shias. So why the sudden moral scruples over the beheading of Foley?
I admit there may be a simple explanation for this – perhaps there was an undignified struggle that ISIS didn’t want to show. Or perhaps Foley just wasn’t killed at all.
Now the severed head on his corpse a few seconds later looked real enough to me but media professionals tell me this could also have been faked if you have the right equipment and expertise.
Which brings me to my second point…
2. How come ISIS videos are so professional?
I work in the TV industry and from a production point of view ISIS videos are way better than amateur, editorially and technically.
The James Foley video was nothing particularly special but it did bear the hallmarks of better-than-average editorial techniques. It was a well scripted and structured story – Barack Obama’s statements at the beginning, the death testimony and beheading in the middle, and the cliffhanger at the end.
Previous ISIS videos have also displayed great picture and sound quality as well as advanced editing techniques.
And where the hell did they get that orange jumpsuit?!
Now the TV professionals that I’ve spoken to over the past few days have also noticed these advanced techniques although some have told me that it would be possible for a keen amateur to achieve that result. Maybe, maybe not.
3. Was Foley reading from an autocue?
For a man who knew he was about to die James Foley’s final speech was awfully fluent, calm and convincing. In fact, it was so word perfect that he must have been reading off an autocue. He was certainly looking at something in the distance at any rate.
Once again, this leads me to wonder if ISIS is getting professional technical help, perhaps from a media organisation or professional journalist who is supportive of their cause. Or Western intelligence.
4. Was the jihadi’s voice distorted?
Again, as someone who works in the TV industry it seemed to me that the jihadi’s voice was slightly distorted. Once more, a far cry from the amateur al Qaeda video productions we are used to.
Now I’m not saying with any certainty that any of the above is true because I am naturally sceptical of the official version AND the unofficial version.
But I do know that Western politicians and media are lying b******s because they have form; I also know that false flags come as second nature to them; and I’m certainly not going to take their statements at face value..
My reading of the situation is this: ISIS is the monster that the West and its regional proxies helped to build by creating the conditions for it to thrive by destabilising Iraq and Syria. And then by funding, training and arming it (at least in its early stages).
But now that monster has served its purpose by creating havoc in Syria, and to a certain extent Iraq, and has simply grown too big for its boots by threatening US and Israel-friendly Kurdistan.
Saudi Arabia, in particular, has woken up to the dangers of blowback and is now advocating a crackdown on ISIS.
Nevertheless, Western intervention will remain limited because they are still quite happy with ISIS’s work in Syria so they won’t destroy the organisation completely, rather they will set borders in which it is allowed to operate.
As for my “conspiracy theories,” if my questions are convincingly answered then I will retract my points. But as long as they aren’t I’m open to the possibility that we’ve all been hoodwinked.