Terrorism. Serial Killing. Human Sacrifice
This is not just terrorism. It's serial murder. Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi is a religiously motivated serial killer. Him and his group of psychopaths aren't doing this just as a propaganda and recruiting tool. The multiple beheadings are not just threats and attempts at intimidation. Zarqawi and his trolls get off on this. They aren't going through with the gruesome effort of beheading human beings unless they enjoy it. Much easier to kill the hostages another way. No, Zarqawi is an Islamic Charles Manson or Ted Bundy. He derives pleasure from the dismemberment of infidels. He gets drunk on a noxious mix of psycho-sexual power and the spiritual ecstacy brought on by human sacrifice.
Serial killers often keep mementos of their victims. In Zarqawi's case he videotapes them. Diseminating the images gives him a secondary rush. Knowing that people are horrorified by his snuff film thrills him. Many serial killers enjoy holding their victims captive, reveling in the power they have over the abject victim. Zarqawi certainly does. He's a weak, sick man leading a group of weaker, sick men.
Zarqawi likes doing this. 'Jihad' gives him religious justification and authority. It draws followers to him, grants him religious redemption, and leads the those who protect and support him into thinking they are fulfilling some obscene duty.
And that's the difference between our cultures. In the West we know these men are evil and we lock these men up or put them to death. In the Islamic world .... the headlines speak for themselves.