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Sunday, August 08, 2004  

News: Man fakes beheading in Iraq

Perhaps sex is not the only thing I'm slow in regard to. I can't fathom why anyone would consider pretending to have been beheaded by Muslims in Iraq a cool thing to do. Yet, a young Californian has done just that. He seems to be under the impression he is helping the anti-war effort by posting a false claim of decapitation on the Internet. The known incidents of beheading did attract attention to the issue of whether Americans should be in Iraq. But, this effort to piggyback on legitimate, and tragic, events is indefensible. Reuters reports.

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A tech-savvy young San Francisco man who staged his own mock beheading on the Internet duped international media on Saturday into believing Islamist kidnappers had executed an American hostage in Iraq.

The video, which appeared on a Web site used by Islamic militants, showed a man who identified himself as Benjamin Vanderford appealing to the United States to leave Iraq. The Web format was that used by al Qaeda ally Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and was introduced by a headline that said it showed Zarqawi killing an American.

"If we don't (leave Iraq), everyone is gonna be killed in this way ... I have been offered for exchange for prisoners here in Iraq," the terrified-looking man said, rocking back and forth in his chair, his hands tied behind his back.

The video showed a hand with a large knife apparently slicing through the neck of a limp body.

But it was all a hoax.

Some people will try to excuse the hoax on political grounds. They will say that since the faker's goal is the honorable objective of casting doubt on the occupation of Iraq, the means justify the end. I disagree. The stance of liberals and progressives in regard to the invasion and occupation of Iraq has been that America and the world need to know the truth. We are irate with the Bush administration because it lied to provide a rationale for the invasion. We believe the goals of the Bush adminstration in Iraq are to impose imperialism in the region and exploit the country's oil resources. Our opposition to lying about what is occurring there is undermined if we support this dishonest attempt to create opposition to the occupation. Benjamin Vanderford's behavior is irresponsible, not praiseworthy.

12:15 AM