In Which Two Young Syrian Rebels Casually Offer Sustenance to a Severed Head.
For a brief while last night and early this morning, until YouTube’s censors stepped in and replaced it with the screen above, a video purportedly from Syria showed two young rebels sitting and amiably chatting with the severed head of another man.
These two men smugly taunted their victim, noting that before they had killed him he had said he was hungry. And so they offered him sfiha, a local meat pastry.
The men described their victim as shabiha — a member of militias loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, although this could not be independently verified, at least not immediately.
The video was both shocking and disgusting, as the screen above says. It was also an artifact of war in the time of the smart phone and the internet connection, when barbarity is performed in grotesque scene after scene, day upon day, sometimes, as here, with glee. The speed with which public presentations of beheadings have become a weekly, if not daily, element of jihadist rebel behavior in Syria is by any reasonable standard beyond startling, and one of the many indicators of Syria’s dark spiral, as the world has done little to stop a once socially diverse and tolerant nation from tearing itself apart.
Everything in the paragraph above is so obvious it hardly needs a discussion. Instead, for the sake of having it in the record, a quickly made translation of the “conversation” that YouTube took down, which opened, as these things tend to, asserting the approval of God.
In the name of God the Merciful,
We, the Mujahideen, regardless of whom our groups could be, whether we belong to Tawheed or the Islamic fronts, we are all brothers, God willing.
The heroes killed one of Assad’s shabiha. Before this soldier died, he complained to us that he was very, very hungry.
So we — (the cameraman interrupts) out of our mercy on him, and so he will not to go to hell hungry — so we said, “It is Haram!”
We brought him — (interrupted by his colleague)
We brought him warmed food.
(Addressing the head, and holding pieces of pastry near it) Eat! Eat! Bashar hadn’t feed you. We feed you.
You don’t want one? Here, take it. We told you to go to your Mom, go to your Dad. Why didn’t you defect?
Cameraman: He has a beard!
NOTE: The translation is subject to change. It was first cut, done quickly. If the video resurfaces, we will revisit and refresh it if necessary.