A friend in Baghdad wrote me that the recent videos coming out from ISIS about beheaded westerners are fake. There is analysis demonstrating this. And also that the collapse of the Iraqi army is some sort of a game and that ISIS was created by ... who? Someone who wants to keep the whole Arab world in chaos.
I hadn't heard that there were people talking about the tables being fake. I don't think that this is likely true as I would bet it would get a little more play in the media. Most folks think they are legitimate. I'd certainly love them to be fake ... to know that these people are still alive somewhere. Regardless of whether this is true, a lot of people have been killed in pretty horrific ways during this conflict and there is plenty of blame to go around and ISIS certain deserves a fair share if it.
I find that Iraq's like to go in for conspiracy theories ... I've met many people in Iraq who believe there is some secret master plan to destroy society. The reality if often far simpler. A couple of years after I was teaching in the English Department of the College of Education at the University of Baghdad, I met the head of the department and one of the English professors at a restaurant in Amman, Jordan.
They told me that it must have been a secret plan of the U.S. right from the start to destroy Iraq. No, it was not, I told them ... it was just stupidity, hubris and short-sightedness. I know my country and we go about the world thinking we are hot shit and blundering about without any kind of realistic, long-term plan. Conspiracies require a bit more intelligence that we often bring to the world stage.