by Scott Creighton
There are a lot of questions that arise when I watch the newly released video of the immolation of Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh. I have already addressed one of those earlier: the question of why “ISIS” is wearing what appears to be Jordanian army uniforms.
I guess first and foremost on my mind is “why would al-Kaseasbeh allow himself to be used in a propaganda film and then burned to death by the enemy?” and that is a very good question.
Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh is a well trained pilot in the Jordanian air force. Pilots have to endure rigorous training for all sorts of potential hazards and one of those, is the distinct possibility that they may be shot down in enemy territory and taken hostage.
Surely they are told to do what they have to in order to stay alive. But they are also taught, conditioned really, to refuse to participate in enemy propaganda.
In this case, Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh not only participates in the propaganda, he seems to almost revel in it like an actor on a Hollywood set who suddenly finds himself in the starring role.
I find that very odd along with several other aspects of this video.
1. I’m Ready for My Close-up
Why would Muath walk along the road as the film crew shoots the dramatic footage, alone, with no guard on him at the time, making his way to his mark, right in front of a line of “ISIS” terrorists, looking wistfully around, careful to NOT LOOK AT THE CAMERA?
Why would he do that?
Why wouldn’t he run? Why wouldn’t he kick on of those “terrorists” in the balls? Why wouldn’t he fight back?
Some might say he still thought he would survive at this point in the process but I have to wonder about that. The bulldozer and cage sitting over there might be a giveaway. Also, the multiple camera shoot taking place alike all the other fake beheading videos might have been a clue for him as well.
More to the point though… this is a Jordanian officer who was at the time at war with ‘ISIS’. Why would he participate in their little film even if he didn’t realize they were going to kill him in the end? Being told to walk along at a slow pace down the road when the directer yells “action!” my guess is, a Jordanian officer would tell said director to “fuck off” in whatever language he chose to use at the time.
When told to walk past the “terrorist” on the end and hit his mark, my guess is a Jordanian officer would oblige to the point where he walks past the “terrorist” on the end (who is barely even watching him) and promptly kicked him in the balls.
Finally, when told “don’t look at the camera!” Muath does as he is told. Soldiers typically don’t behave that way as is evidenced by this little Coppola cameo in Apocalypse Now.
In the end, Muath, even after being covered in a flammable substance, still finds it in his heart to do as he is told. He stands on his mark directly in the center of the “cage” (more on that later)
Do you see the “X” in the middle of the cage where the flammable substance has been poured? Why would Muath stand there right in the middle waiting for the flames?
Why wouldn’t he simply kick the dirt and disrupt the path of the fire? Because he was afraid they would shoot him? I have to imagine he would rather die in a hail of AK47 fire than being burned alive. So, why just stand there, right in the middle, covering up like a Hollywood stuntman (skip to the 3 minute mark)?
For that matter, look at that stupid cage. There’s not even a door on it. They had to tilt it over and have him crawl inside. The bars seem to be made of thin-walled 1/2″ tube stock which is extremely weak and flexible. Over a 7 foot span like is evidenced in this picture, that stuff will bend 13 or 14 inches quite easily. With no cross-bracing running through the middle of those bars, Muath could easily bend them and walk out. Heck, in another image I posted earlier, you can see where they are simply tack welded top and bottom to a piece of angle stock. He could have busted the welds on them if he chose to.
For that matter, when you look at the end of the video and the bulldozer crushes the cage, you’ll notice a sound. It’s not the sound of steel bars hitting each other. It sounds like conduit. In fact, I took this screenshot in which you can see the black paint scraped off by the blade of the bulldozer exposing the shiny grey metal. It is conduit.
Look how thin the wall is on this stuff. Look how small it is.
Why did he comply with the director’s wishes during the filming of this? Why did he not fight back against these men who represent the enemy of his country? Why did he wait patently for the fire to engulf him? Why was he covering up just like a Hollywood stuntman prior to the flames hitting him? Why didn’t he ever struggle against the flimsy cage? And for that matter…
… why did he allow them to burn him to death when he obviously could have chosen a better way to go out?
Some will immediately criticize me for claiming I would have found a better way to go out. But before you do, that’s not what I am saying.
I don’t know I would do in that situation and anyone who claims they do know, is an idiot or a liar.
I’m not saying he did something any differently than I would have. What I am saying is he did something different than what I would expect from a trained, professional, career officer in the Jordanian military. That’s what I am saying.
I feel, my question watching this video, is that someone of his training would be less inclined to participate so compliantly with this “ISIS” propaganda video. It would go against his training, it would go against his will.
I also feel I can state quite emphatically when someone starts smearing flammable substances on my clothing, I’m going to make the choice to get shot rather than to burn. You don’t need to have a military background to know that much about yourself.
It all seems very odd when I look at it. Like all the other fake “ISIS” videos before it, this one simply doesn’t add up. Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh’s seemingly willing participation in the production of this video defies all logic except for one possible eventuality: the film wasn’t produced by the enemy and was in fact produced by the Jordanian military with assistance from special effects professionals, a writer and director (probably with music video background from the looks of it) in a “hearts and minds” propaganda effort.
That is really the ONLY way I can justify Muath’s actions through the entire video.