Beheading Frenzy

They are getting awfully close to a beheading frenzy in the Middle East . Just listen to this news item from Associated Press and see if you don't get goose bumps. "Their loved ones are being threatened with beheading by militants in Iraq . Now, two of the hostages' relatives have issued a deadly ultimatum to someone else. They're threatening to behead the director of the Jordanian company the two hostages work for, unless the company stops doing business in Iraq . The father of one hostage and the brother of another are also threatening to kill *all* the firm's employees, unless the contractor complies with the kidnappers' demands."

And it goes on, day after day. Some people in that part of the world seem bent on a bloodbath. We like to believe that our actions have left the Middle East in general and Iraq in particular better off. No doubt, the removal of Saddam Hussein from power was a righteous act—in the sense that it was the "right" thing to do on behalf of the Iraqi people. Having prematurely declared the "mission accomplished" in Iraq , in the aftermath, we have left the country (without having actually *left* the country) with a "temporary" interim government which seems scarcely capable of control. And now we have this rash of threats and counter threats—an ignoble outcome for what was called a noble venture.

(08-04-04  Since writing this about a week ago, four more people have been beheaded.  KM)