Ladies and gentlemen, there is evil in the world. The map is bordered by monsters who want to kill you because you are different. The belief in the existence in a civilization where everyone wants to, and can get along, is as naive as it is dangerous. Denying the threat of terrorist groups (see "Al Qaeda is dead"), allows them to fester and emboldens them beyond anything at which Ron Paul can point his misguided finger.
If you are shocked by the inhuman behavior of the terror group ISIS it is because you are ignorant. If your awareness of international affairs has been shaped solely by a favorite civics professor, or by your friend with the provocative pharmaceutical connection, the brazen beheading of western journalists is beyond belief. Well, marauding murderers don't care what you believe, though are delighted to dismantle your personal universe.
With the blanket of freedom pulled up tightly over your head, it's easy to criticize United States aggression. Classrooms and coffee shops aptly shelter one from dissent and actual events. The Ron Paul philosophy falls apart, however, when razor-sharp reality cuts through your world view. That journalists are being seized and executed denies the romance that we are dealing with rational entities who we have unjustly upset. Additionally, that it takes American kidnappings to get our attention blows a huge whole in our unsupported compassion.
ISIS has been spreading like a virus across Iraq and Syria. Civilized life has been fleeing this advance, with thousands of noncombatants meeting a fate we are too sheltered to consider. The U.S. helped dispense some water, and blessedly helped get the Yazidis off that mountain, though concern for the innocents is only now starting to galvanize.
Of the Steven Sotloff video, National Security Council Spokesperson, Bernadette Meehan said, "We are appalled by the brutal murder of an innocent American journalist.." Why is this any more appalling than the brutal murder of hundreds, perhaps thousands of children in Iraqi Kurdistan? The man with the knife in the video doesn't share your view of innocence. He does not respect your rules of engagement. He will kill a child who does not believe as he does, he will kill a reporter who does not live as he does and he will kill your professors and friends even as they purport to empathize with his American-inflicted plight.
The United States bears its share of responsibility for how matters are spinning in the world, and thank goodness for that. Despite the chatter in the Sociology Lounge, we are not the bad guys. Whatever incomprehensible twaddle you choose to believe from that interesting kid in the Che t-shirt, the U.S. isn't decapitating journalists. And you can thank the military industrial complex ISIS will never get within five-thousand miles of your favorite coffee house.