Saturday, February 28, 2015

Saturday Dispatches: Joe Aldridge's Mom Died, Vandalism in Mosul, and Jihadi John Gets Identified

See if this sounds familiar. Joseph Aldridge had a history of drug and mental problems. He'd been ordered into counseling for both issues and he spent time in a federal prison for possessing a gun while using marijuana.
He was described by those who knew him as a quiet guy who kept to himself while living with his mother in the tiny hamlet of Tyrone, Missouri, population 50. Yes, I know, we've all been here before and by now everyone in America with half a brain knows the tale won't end well.
It didn't. Late Thursday Joe Aldridge stepped off into the abyss and by the time he was done over 10% of the population of Tyrone was dead. Despite the fact he was known to be a little funny in the head, had drug related problems, and owned a criminal record, he was still able to get a gun. Well of course he could--this is, after all, America, so everyone gets to have one--it's how we know we're free. Before he blew his brains out, he shot and killed four of his own relatives and three neighbors. 
In addition authorities found his mother dead of apparent natural causes. The most current speculation is her death flipped the switch in Aldridge's head which sent him out into the night with a loaded weapon. That's right, there always has to be a reason beyond the obvious one--you know--that the guy was bats and since we won't restrict guns anywhere for any reason, he was able to get one and use it, because that's what crazy fucks do.
Meanwhile the world's largest street gang, Islamic State, put a video online showing members, destroying ancient statuary in a Mosul museum. The United Nations was quick to issue a statement calling the destruction of the artifacts, some of which were 2,700 years old, a war crime.  
Yeah, there is a lot of that going around lately. Just ask the families of all the people IS has beheaded, crucified, and burned alive for heresy and fun. Let's face it, the whole point of this barbarity is to utterly destroy modern civilization  and its history, then remake the world into their own unique version of what a seventh century mystic wanted it to be during the seventh century. That they're using modern technology and weapons to do it might be considered a bit ironic, or even hypocritical by some, but obviously you can't let those sort of details get in the way of the big picture.
Which leads us to Mohammed Emwazi, a 26 year old graduate of the University of Westminster in London. According to a number of media sources he has been identified as the masked man who appears as a narrator and executioner in IS videos showing the beheading of hostages. Reports indicate he was born in Kuwait, but moved to the UK when he was six. 
The western media has nicknamed Emwazi, Jihadi John which is catchy, although a tad light hearted for a cold blooded murderer. Hey, this guy isn't some comic rube like former Iraqi Information Minister Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf, who came to be known as Baghdad Bob in America. He is more akin to Jack the Ripper, or Charlie Manson.
Depending on which rumor you want to believe, Emwazi had, at one point, either been recruited by Britain's MI5, or was investigated by them because he was suspected of wanting to join a terrorist operation in Somalia. Whatever the truth might be he obviously slipped under the radar and ended up in Syria as the very public, if shrouded, face of savagery.
British Prime Minister, David Cameron has promised that Emwazi will be hunted down and brought to justice. Perhaps, but you have to get to him first and pulling him out of the middle of tens of thousands of deadly clowns just like him isn't going to be easy. Hey, no matter how much we enjoy the movies, James Bond doesn't really exist and never did.
So there we have it on a cold, snow laden, Saturday here on the southern plains. There was another nut with a gun in America, vandalism on a grand scale was bragged about in Iraq, and someone has identified the worlds best known murderer still on the loose, but no one has the slightest idea of how to drag him into the dock.   
No wonder the bar is open.

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