The Muath Al-Kaseasbeh Immolation Video: I’m Ready for My Close-up

by Scott Creighton

There are a lot of questions that arise when I watch the newly released video of the immolation of Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh. I have already addressed one of those earlier: the question of why “ISIS” is wearing what appears to be Jordanian army uniforms.

I guess first and foremost on my mind is “why would al-Kaseasbeh allow himself to be used in a propaganda film and then burned to death by the enemy?” and that is a very good question.

Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh is a well trained pilot in the Jordanian air force. Pilots have to endure rigorous training for all sorts of potential hazards and one of those, is the distinct possibility that they may be shot down in enemy territory and taken hostage.

Surely they are told to do what they have to in order to stay alive. But they are also taught, conditioned really, to refuse to participate in enemy propaganda.

In this case, Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh not only participates in the propaganda, he seems to almost revel in it like an actor on a Hollywood set who suddenly finds himself in the starring role.

I find that very odd along with several other aspects of this video.

1. I’m Ready for My Close-up

Why would Muath walk along the road as the film crew shoots the dramatic footage, alone, with no guard on him at the time, making his way to his mark, right in front of a line of “ISIS” terrorists, looking wistfully around, careful to NOT LOOK AT THE CAMERA?

drama 4

strolling along

drama 1

not a care in the world

drama 2

hit your mark and stop

drama 5

don’t look at the camera!

Why would he do that?

Why wouldn’t he run? Why wouldn’t he kick on of those “terrorists” in the balls? Why wouldn’t he fight back?

Some might say he still thought he would survive at this point in the process but I have to wonder about that. The bulldozer and cage sitting over there might be a giveaway. Also, the multiple camera shoot taking place alike all the other fake beheading videos might have been a clue for him as well.

More to the point though… this is a Jordanian officer who was at the time at war with ‘ISIS’. Why would he participate in their little film even if he didn’t realize they were going to kill him in the end? Being told to walk along at a slow pace down the road when the directer yells “action!” my guess is, a Jordanian officer would tell said director to “fuck off” in whatever language he chose to use at the time.

When told to walk past the “terrorist” on the end and hit his mark, my guess is a Jordanian officer would oblige to the point where he walks past the “terrorist” on the end (who is barely even watching him) and promptly kicked him in the balls.

Finally, when told “don’t look at the camera!” Muath does as he is told. Soldiers typically don’t behave that way as is evidenced by this little Coppola cameo in Apocalypse Now.

In the end, Muath, even after being covered in a flammable substance, still finds it in his heart to do as he is told. He stands on his mark directly in the center of the “cage” (more on that later)

New grisly video from ISIS reportedly shows Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kaseasbeh being burned alive.

“x” marks the spot


Do you see the “X” in the middle of the cage where the flammable substance has been poured? Why would Muath stand there right in the middle waiting for the flames?

Why wouldn’t he simply kick the dirt and disrupt the path of the fire? Because he was afraid they would shoot him? I have to imagine he would rather die in a hail of AK47 fire than being burned alive. So, why just stand there, right in the middle, covering up like a Hollywood stuntman (skip to the 3 minute mark)?

For that matter, look at that stupid cage. There’s not even a door on it. They had to tilt it over and have him crawl inside. The bars seem to be made of thin-walled 1/2″ tube stock which is extremely weak and flexible. Over a 7 foot span like is evidenced in this picture, that stuff will bend 13 or 14 inches quite easily. With no cross-bracing running through the middle of those bars, Muath could easily bend them and walk out. Heck, in another image I posted earlier, you can see where they are simply tack welded top and bottom to a piece of angle stock. He could have busted the welds on them if he chose to.

For that matter, when you look at the end of the video and the bulldozer crushes the cage, you’ll notice a sound. It’s not the sound of steel bars hitting each other. It sounds like conduit. In fact, I took this screenshot in which you can see the black paint scraped off by the blade of the bulldozer exposing the shiny grey metal. It is conduit.

drama 6

Look how thin the wall is on this stuff. Look how small it is.

Why did he comply with the director’s wishes during the filming of this? Why did he not fight back against these men who represent the enemy of his country? Why did he wait patently for the fire to engulf him? Why was he covering up just like a Hollywood stuntman prior to the flames hitting him? Why didn’t he ever struggle against the flimsy cage? And for that matter…

… why did he allow them to burn him to death when he obviously could have chosen a better way to go out?

Some will immediately criticize me for claiming I would have found a better way to go out. But before you do, that’s not what I am saying.

I don’t know I would do in that situation and anyone who claims they do know, is an idiot or a liar.

I’m not saying he did something any differently than I would have. What I am saying is he did something different than what I would expect from a trained, professional, career officer in the Jordanian military. That’s what I am saying.

I feel, my question watching this video, is that someone of his training would be less inclined to participate so compliantly with this “ISIS” propaganda video. It would go against his training, it would go against his will.

I also feel I can state quite emphatically when someone starts smearing flammable substances on my clothing, I’m going to make the choice to get shot rather than to burn. You don’t need to have a military background to know that much about yourself.

It all seems very odd when I look at it. Like all the other fake “ISIS” videos before it, this one simply doesn’t add up. Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh’s seemingly willing participation in the production of this video defies all logic except for one possible eventuality: the film wasn’t produced by the enemy and was in fact produced by the Jordanian military with assistance from special effects professionals, a writer and director (probably with music video background from the looks of it) in a “hearts and minds” propaganda effort.

That is really the ONLY way I can justify Muath’s actions through the entire video.

37 Responses

  1. Perfect analysis… Thank you.

    Note how, after showing us the “horrific” images of a burning man, they wouldn’t show him when the rubble is being dumped on the cage… Which, as you pointed out, just crumbles even before the weight of the rubble crushes it.

    It seems like they totally botched the “rubble dumping scene” since it made it too obvious that the cage was not a cage… Cut to close up… Problem solved… Or, so they think.

    On a side note, I can’t make sense of their insistence on using high-end professionals for these videos…. I understand the back end of it being done by experienced f/x artists and such, but wouldn’t you let a really “bad” cameraman shot it, and a really ad video editor do cut these things if you wanted to sell it to the world as authentic???

    If anyone has 5-6 minutes to spare for a laugh, here is the fox news numbskull Shep shepherding the sheeple, though a video they won’t show, by doing a play by play of the whole thing.

    My favorite line of Shep’s: (paraphrasing)

    “We will not show you the video of cooers, but I will tell you exactly what is in the video… If you are sensitive, you should mute your TV for the next 6 minutes”

  2. DUDE!! I didn’t even notice that there is no door on the cage!! THAT”S HILARIOUS!

  3. Excellent critique, as always.
    But… I feel that a little more acknowledgment is warranted of the new element that will be forever known in the Cahiers du Prop-Video as “The Stroll” and in the more emotional Hispanic world as La Despedida (The Farewell).
    He knows he is going to die, he is looking for the last time at the world he is to be wrenched from (the hills, the bulldozer, the crew, the gaffer, the location scouter, the lights man). He walks slowly because he is loathe to shorten the only thing he has — center stage — they gave him no lines. The costumed guys do not move at all — they are the symbol of implacable destiny: death, towards which he is walking.
    And he walks past them as a dignitary past the honor guard, proud, nay, heroic.
    The Beheader we have been used to seeing in previous episodes was not cast in this production, perhaps because he doesn’t speak Arabic.

    • Maybe now that he’s a star, Jihad John the Brit simply wanted too much money for this production or they couldn’t get all the stuff his contract rider demanded for his air-conditioned trailer, like TEVO perhaps? Maybe this was a SAG production and Jihad doesn’t have his card yet? All kinds of possibilities.

  4. Honestly, it is kind of sad how a man was burned alive and some people are just trying to find any other explanation other than the fact that this innocent man DID in fact get burned alive by these cruel people, who do not represent Islam at all. I am not Muslim, but that doesn’t mean that they can not be peaceful and regular human beings. A possibility and explanation to all that is shown above can be that as researchers and experts say (through my reading I found) that maybe they could have done this to him more than once and he didn’t realize that this time could be real. Putting that aside, in my opinion I think this man was just showing his bravery and not giving them the satisfaction of him being looking like a scared coward. They might have told him how to walk and what to do, and he may have listened, but he walked with dignity and pride to his own death to show that he was not going to give in to these disgusting animals. He stood right on the X, and kept his head held high. I can’t imagine how much fear he was feeling in that moment. As for the cage, why would there need to be a door? He’s obviously not going to get out. Theyd probably tie him up and drag him back in. They are barbarian terrorists. What does a cage without a door prove? I do not think he was ready for his close up and shining/ enjoying the lime light when his poor soul was jumping around and screaming. You can clearly see in the tragic video his skin turning to ash and falling off. After they saw him fall down, they crushed him with that bulldozer as if he was nothing and didn’t have a life or a family to take care of! Again, all I see is a noble and brave man who died for his country. Imagine what his family is feeling at home. He had a mother, a father, brothers a wife and a baby on the way, so how a person can try to make such accusations about an innocent man is all I’m wondering, he died in one of the worse ways possible. Let him rest in peace, and his family, people, and country mourn in peace.

    • Am trying to decide which line I loved the most..don’t get me wrong, every sentence was masterful, but some where just… better?

      Ok, this one: ¨ I am not Muslim, but that doesn’t mean that they can not be peaceful and regular human beings.¨

      Any one else agree???

      • Thank you haha its just weird how people can be as heartless to try and find something to overshadow his burning. What a brave and brilliant man…he was probably shocked and mute from all the beatings he got as well as the trials they would have had to done before this video was shot, poor guy might’ve not known this was the real thing…R.I.P muath 🙂

        • Yes, too horrible to imagine : (
          Now that this video is final though, do you think they let him watch it .. or… .-

        • Sandra! It’s even worse… if I am to believe this guy (actually it was girl) I just talked to. She thinks that Muath al-Kaseasbeh will never be cast for another role, precisely because the footage was real, now thats sad! He better have been paid real good.

          • ? It was real…It wasn’t a movie. They just video taped professionally.

            • ? You mean the CGI was used to make it look… more real?

            • it was a movie. he had blocking, extras (Jordanian military), script, storyline, throughline, and a star who was complicit in the acting out of the director’s vision… that’s a MOVIE not an EXECUTION… there is a difference… I think I even saw a Honey Wagon set up on the other side of the wall.

              And I know a little about movies I even have a film credit at the end of Cherry Falls. @ the 6:29 mark under Propmakers “Raymond Scott Creighton”

              So needless too say, I know a little about film productions. A little.

              i think your problem is, after watching so much f’in TV… you don’t remember the difference.

              • Okay so you’re saying that this man gave himself up a month ago to ISIS when his plane crashed and was beaten and starved as well as burned alive for a movie? That IS the same man that crashed a month ago; confirmed. What about the millions of Jordanians in Jordan mourning right now? Is that all part of the movie as well?

                • “ISIS” is a line of propaganda used to justify Obama renewing the war in Iraq which he supposedly ended. It is used to justify our bombing targets in Syria in order to force another regime change.

                  Remember Jessica Lynch? Do you remember that story? It was all a lie. All of it.

                  Do you remember the “incubator babies” story? The nurse who claimed she saw Saddam’s men toss babies on the cold floor because for some reason, Saddam wanted incubators from Kuwait? It was a lie. She was the ambassador’s daughter. She was never a nurse. She was coached by Hill and Knowlton to lie to congress and the media. it was made up to get the people behind a war they didn’t want.

                  The torpedo attacks in the Gulf of Tonkin? They never happened. They made the story up. it was a lie.

                  This guy was never held by ‘ISIS”. He never crashed in Dec. he was never beaten by the guys who make fake beheading videos. And he wasn’t burned alive. That’s a stunt man, just like in Hollywood. Do you think they set fire to Tom Cruise when the scene calls for it at the end of the movie?

                  This is what they do. They fabricate stories in order to move the public toward whatever geopolitical end they want. In this case, it was this pilot. In Australia, it was a chocolate store. In Japan it was that photoshopped beheading picture.

                  The people in Jordan, the ones who actually believe this stuff, are indeed upset. They believe it. No, they aren’t part of it. They are the target market.

                  it’s public relations. Something the used to call propaganda.

                  • You know what, enjoy your opinion. Not everything is propaganda. Do you know how many people have died from this terrorist group? INNOCENTS. Its not fake. But if you wish to believe this, it is up to you. There are experts in the world other than you and your photography skills who have confirmed its authentic. Photoshop cant do everything, i’m sure you would know that. The video has been edited and filmed and everything to make it look like a real film and a part of a movie. Not everything is fake, just because you cant believe something like this could actually happen in 2015. Please stop being in denial and open your eyes. I live in Jordan personally, and the support and marches have been going on ever since we heard. His family is REAL, and this man is REAL, because we know him here in Jordan. Did they hire all the Jordan population for this? I doubt it. Dig more into this whole thing, because it is obvious you are lacking facts and proof. Isnt it also a possibility that they did film it like that to start controversy? It doesn’t matter HOW it was filmed, the fact of the matter is, the man was burned alive. You can clearly see it. Watch the video, look up expert opinions, look at the facts, see what they’ve done to other innocents, look at the amount of people killed. Look at the amount of people captured and held by them. And then…Come up with a conclusion because it sounds like you’re coming up with your assumptions without digging further into the matter. Denial is one thing, but disrespecting this man as a person and a soul is another. I suggest all you readers don’t take one opinion, and search more into this big and vast topic. Take it from someone who actually lives on this side of the world and knows what’s happening.

                    • oh look at that. Your IP address tracks back to Jordan. Tell me, do you live anywhere near those bases where Jordanian military and the US trained “moderate” terrorists who are blowing up people in Syria right now?

                    • Have you ever watched a magician make a bunny disappear, Sandra? Was your reaction “I wonder how he did it?”, or was it “Oh, poor bunny”?

                      The pilot you are mourning is a member of the Jordaninan military, who acts at the pleasure of his king… The same king who just went “all in” with the ISIS psyop, landed a massive arms deal with the US, and god knows what other concessions (military and financial) he received.

                      The sentiments of millions of Jordanians mourning his death are very very real… It is what they are mourning for that is fake.

                  • You know, I’m sorry, everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I may have offended you in the process of saying mine, and for that I’m sorry I didn’t mean to cause any harm or offense, though I still strongly disagree with your view on the situation, maybe if you were living in it, you’d see it differently. Thank you and have a good day\night.

    • Amen! A martyr! Wonderful! Something to “believe” in. I love the assurance that this is a real fact based solely on the emotional impact that it would have if it were in fact real along with the emotional impact it would alternatively have if it were in fact not real (Sorry – I’m making an assumption here that you were not in fact there and are absolutely sure that this is real based on a notion that it must be or should be real simply because of what you have read or heard and how that makes you “feel”). With this logic, the greater the potential impact of whatever I feel like making up right now, the more you will be required to believe I am telling the truth, otherwise you will be forced to believe that I am that much more of an asshole monster for lying “even bigger” to you. It’s probably easier for you to make yourself feel like a “good” and “gentle” person by just believing me as long as the implications of my lying are heinous enough. That usually works (e.g., Hitler and the Reichstag, and for the Bush administration and the WTC), so why not keep trying it?

      • The whole point of Sandra’s statement is the basis for the P.R./propaganda industry: don’t give people what they need, create an artificial emotional connection and force on them what you want them to buy. That’s P.R. in a nutshell and what our friend here is actually doing. Very aptly diagnosed, def.

  5. […] I have watched the video of the Burning Alive, and I must say I strongly share the doubts of many online commentators about the episode. Before going on further, I’ll just summarise them […]

  6. this article is extremely disrespectful to Mouath and his family. HE DIDNT ASK TO BE BURNED ALIVE WHAT IDIOT THINKS THAT WAY. The man is DEAD now. And excuse me run away? When there are thousands of ISIS soldier surrounding him. Oh and another point in your article Why does the soldies of ISIS appear to be wearing Jordanian uniforms are you that stupid? All uniforms look exactly the same. What soldier thinks that being burnt alive would be his “big break” are you insinuating that the man wanted to DIE to get a lot of views? Mouath was murdered and no not by choice, so please cut the crap. Now if you have any decency Id suggest you delete this article.

    • wait a minute? wasn’t there some kind of “free speech” thingy that happened over in France not that long ago? we forgot about that already, huh?

    • You tell ’em Zee! Let’s stand up tall and proud for the hope of some more crumbs!! Maybe your masters will smile on you. You never know, Some day you might get a promotion if you keep your thinking so tightly on track. God is pleased with your words.

  7. The guy who wrote this doesn’t know what he is talking about he was walking there and looking at the sky cause he knew what well happen to him he was thinking like now my life will end i will die. did you guys notice when he stood he raised his two hands to his head and then his left hand on his stomach and then the right hand above it because that is how muslims pray so he got burned while he was praying.

  8. run away from the savages? If so, all the victims would had run away from the ISIS beheading videos before. When you’re outnumbered, you got no choice regardless of what kind of background you come from whether be it seal or an average joe from next door. Please stop writing this retarded analysis.

    • “savages”?

    • Oh, this is rich. So, so rich. Thank you for your priceless statement. abc, you are worth more than your weight in gold. Unfortunately, you will probably never know to whom you are worth this weight, but so be it. Carry on in your faithful capacity. Someone other than you will benefit handsomely. You can feel proud and benevolent.

  9. Here is a video of John McCain in a meeting with the Head Honcho of ISIS Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi!Strange that McCain wasn’t beheaded!

  10. Oh yeah, because nobody ever gets shot, stabbed, beat, mutilated, beheaded, or set on fire alive. Must be photoshop right?

    Wake the fuck up and smell the roses, violence plagues these third worlds and as far as these ISIS videos, these victims — or as you nuts would call “actors” have staged their very execution scene so many times it is just another day for them.

    By the time he saw the flames coming he knew it was the end and there’s nothing he could do. RIP.

    • Let’s recap:

      1. Violence happens – Yes, nobody is denying that.
      2. Therefore this video is real – No, that does not follow directly.

      Saying insulting things does not increase the authenticity (or lack thereof) of this video.

  11. What a load of bullshit. I’ve nothing against morons but it’s contemptible when they speak with such arrogance about something so tragic. Isn’t the (to you) remote chance of this video being real enough to make you speak with some humility about this subject? The man has a family. You don’t even make an argument you just point out weird things in the video. If you think you can understand the mind of someone who has been held hostage for a week and now stands before dozens of armed militants then you truly are an idiot, but what more should one expect from someone who thinks quoting behaviour in a MOVIE is evidence. Fool.

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