The killing of Atwar Bahjat
I have not commented on this earlier, because it was so horrible. This is yet another terrible and disturbing story of jihad: this time a brave 30-year-old female journalist tortured and slaughtered in Iraq. I am linking here only to neo-neocon's essay on the story, and on the nature of evil, the nature of jihadism, and the way the modern world looks at it, including this:
But in a strange and paradoxical way, the over-the-top nature of the drawn-out violence in this and other similar killings only makes them easier for many to deny. Despite the existence of video documentation, such methods seem so barbaric as to be almost unbelievable. And this air of unreality isn't helped by the fact that media coverage of such things is tentative and muted.
The fact that many of the jihadis and their supporters may be literally bloodthirsty offends our PC sensibilities and our postmodern vision. So it's much, much better--isn't it?--to focus on President Bush rather than on the terrifying mental images of the dying woman in the video.
Encounters with the facts and the methods of evil, like this, are fantastical for most Americans. But it's like watching "United 93." Painful, hurtful, disturbing, and tragic, but necessary--a facing of the truth with both the mind and the emotions. Out of a sense of duty and self-preservation, we need to keep these despicable truths in our conscious minds, distasteful as that necessity may be.
Evil is not a fairy tale, or a story dreamed up. It walks the same world as we do. It would murder us too, given the chance.
As Ayaan Hirsi has said: Never appease evil.