Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Sniper and the Sadist

Here's a story particularly difficult, I think, for those who believe that war is never the answer. I don't recount the story to belittle anyone's principles, but rather to suggest how difficult it is to hold consistently to our principles, whatever they are, in the world in which we live.

The story unfolded in Syria where a sadistic ISIS executioner was going from town to town gleefully killing prisoners that ISIS had labelled as spies. He did this by burning them to death with a flamethrower.

The U.S. had placed this monster on its "kill list" several months ago and he was finally tracked down near Raqqa in Syria where he and several of his assistants were preparing to immolate twelve terrified hostages, eight men and four women. The assistants were setting up camera equipment to film the grisly deaths.

A British sniper was positioned almost a mile away, and just as this horrid ISIS executioner was about to fire his flamethrower the sniper fired his rifle. Here's the account in the New York Post:
A sharpshooter killed a top ISIS executioner and three other jihadists with a single bullet from nearly a mile away — just seconds before the fiend was set to burn 12 hostages alive with a flamethrower, according to a new report.

The British Special Air Service marksman turned one of the most hated terrorists in Syria into a fireball by using a Barrett .50-caliber rifle to strike a fuel tank affixed to the jihadi’s back, the UK’s Daily Star reported Sunday.

The pack exploded, killing the sadistic terrorist and three of his flunkies, who were supposed to film the execution, last month, the paper said.

The ISIS butcher — who reportedly delighted in burning hostages alive — had been on a US “kill list” for several months, sources told the paper, which did not identify the sniper or the executioner.

He and his band of wicked men had been traveling around ISIS-held compounds in Syria slaughtering civilians labeled as spies. Their prisoners were tied to stakes or thrown in cages before being torched by the executioner, according to the report. ISIS started using flamethrowers after the torture method was popularized in North Korea.

The ISIS killer was so feared that his victims would beg to be shot rather than be set on fire.

Just before the sniper rescue operation outside of Raqqa, Syria, “the SAS team moved into an overwatch position above a village where they were told the execution was going to take place,” a source told the Star.

“Up to 12 civilians were going to be murdered — eight men and four women.

“The executioner gave some sort of rambling speech . . . then when he finished, the SAS sniper opened fire,” the source said. The captives were then rescued by British and US special forces.
So, here's a question to mull over. Was the sniper morally wrong to kill the jihadi?