The shock value of the beheading of American Journalists by Islamists is being used by the media to inflame hawks into putting American boots back on the ground in Iraq.
Yet we accept historically the fact that a refined, civilized British monarch (Henry VIII) used precisely that method to dispose of inconvenient wives (Ann Boleyn and Catherine Howard). We tolerate the use of non-disfiguring methods to kill our guilty convicts (electrocutions and lethal injections), while abandoning the disfiguring metholds of hangings or firing squads. We also tolerate killings of innocent non-combatant women, children and the aged when done remotely by rockets, bombs, or drones, as long as we can be shielded from direct viewing of the barbaraic carnage.
We mustn’t let the media and hawks use the recent barbaric incident to justify boots on the ground, Israeli killing of Palestinians, or continued use of the death penalty in lieu of life imprisonment.