My Mideast Punchlines: catch and despatch….

The Islamic State has carried out its first beheading using a child as an executioner. Its latest grisly clip shows a boy around 10 beheading an Assad-regime pilot.

The video, entitled The Capture and Assassination of the Nusayri Captain opens with a graphic indicating the location: Homs. It is a sign of the Islamic State’s film sophistication that they use different opening titles depending on the location of the film.

The pilot gives a short summary of his life and career as an a air force captain in Bashar al-Assad’s forces, before he is shown in an orange jumpsuit kneeling, awaiting his death.

A bearded jihadist gives a short speech threatening “Our goal is not only Palmyra or Homs or Damascus, rather our goal is to conquer Bayt al- Maqdes [Jerusalem] and Rome, God willing.”

The boy then takes his knife and beheads the prisoner, showing no mercy or compunction about the killing.

Small FistYou don’t need to be a psychopath to do the psychomath. A sure way to ensure an endless number of ready-made serial killers is to catch them young. The little poppet’s eyes are iceberg-cold as he holds the severed head of the pilot in his hand. A childhood lost is a jihadist gained. I’m just wondering whether we can be shocked any more by this bestiality. There is the danger that we, too, can become inured to such horrors by repeated exposure to them. Arab atrocities against other Arabs have become so hum-drum that when 250,000 are slaughtered in Syria, most people, and certainly not our leaders, don’t bat an eyelid.

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