War is hell. We see gruesome killings on the battlefields as a tragic result of combat. We have become sadly accustomed, even jaded, to reports of the numbers of troops and innocent civilians killed in action.
Some are blown to bits by mortar shells, barrel bombs, or IEDs. Some are shot in the head or heart and die instantly. Still others die from massive gunshot wounds received in an intense firefight . And then, there are those severely wounded who are medivacked off the battlefield only to die later on an operating table.
But, beheading is killing of a much different kind. The result is the same—a dead body, grieving family and friends. But, the means are barbaric, gruesome, grotesque. It's inhuman and inhumane. It’s intended to horrify and it does just that.
It inspires rage and calls for revenge. It becomes the catalyst for massive retaliation. Politicians promise to pursue the perpetrators to the ends of the earth and to deliver them to justice.