Alibi V.16 No.9 • March 1-7, 2007 

Thin Line

John Bear Loses His Head--So I'm mad at the televison news again.

It all started a couple weeks ago when my morbid curiosity got the better of me and I watched a short video clip called “Abu Musab al-Zarqawi slaughters an American.”

Their title, not mine.

The infamous video showed the now dead chairman of Al-Qaeda, Iraq chapter, beheading Nick Berg.

The sound was off by a few seconds, so Berg’s blood-curdling screams come before the actual sawing by Zarqawi. I had to watch the video several times to get the idea.

In addition to making me feel sort of unclean, it also sent me spiraling into another anti-television news mood.

It made me think: Does the United States get into so many wars because the viewing public never really sees just how nasty war can be?

True, the Al-Qaeda chairman mercilessly slaughtered an innocent man for no reason other than, well, I cannot fathom even one reason. What makes these guys tick is just beyond me.

But since our country is at war with a shadowy nongovernmental terrorist organization that wants us all dead because our government meddles endlessly in the affairs of the Middle East, their press releases do seem valid and worthy of more complete coverage.

The television will show a second or two of the condemned kneeling before six or seven nasty bastards wielding sharp knives and screaming gibberish, but that’s it. They never get to the actual hacking.

This is a disservice to Americans and anyone else who may be viewing. They should show every brutal, disgusting detail.

Yes, it would give these wackos undeserved attention, but our own government has succeeded in sowing fear among us, so what difference does a little snuff cinema make?

If anything, it will help to educate the public on just how mean and psychotic Al-Qaeda is and hopefully will steer public opinion toward getting out of the Middle East.

The powers that be have said if we leave, the terrorists will just follow us.

That isn’t true.

If we leave, they will turn their attention toward all the other oppressive governments in the region, chief among them, the Saudi Arabian’s--our ally, I’d like to add--but only because they have lots of the precious juice that gets us to the drive-through.

It is now time for the television media, the most widely used form in this country, to show more beheadings, more smart bombs splattering innocent civilians and more gore.

That way, the citizenry of this country will hopefully stand up and say, “No more!” Then we can go back to doing what we do best (and are loved for): inundating the world with mostly bad pop culture.

God bless America, and no one else.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author.