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Islamic State takes to beheading journalists

Sending a clear message to the free world and the United States, the Islamic State has purportedly beheaded one journalist with another in the queue. There are between 80-100 journalists captured and missing in Syria, Iraq and areas neighboring conflict in the Middle East. This is a most dangerous occupation.

A rebel fighter stands behind his anit-aircraft gun in a street in Syria's eastern town of Deir Ezzor on September 26, 2013.
Ahmad Aboud/AFP/Getty Images

Barbaric behavior such as that being displayed by the Islamic State and radical Muslims underscores what is at stake. There can be no pacifying the Islamic State. There is no diplomatic solution.

As Dr. Bernard Fall might have expressed it, the warriors in Syria and Iraq are using religious ideology to organize a revolt against the following:

  • Existing governments other than the Islamic State
  • Western aligned nations that are the free world
  • Humanity as we know it
  • The United States of America

The Islamic State pits Muslims against Muslims and sects that are not Sunni. The Islamic State was trending toward gaining critical mass as a caliphate, a 13th century idea for an Islamic community. The war that is raging in parts of the Middle East today touches American allies who must declare their separation from the Islamic State to remain such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

One thing that the Islamic State has done is to force the issue about Muslim sects having the capacity to moderate sufficiently to coexist in the free world. Sharia law is in question as are theocratic forms of government. American diplomats as well as Europeans can no longer dance around this issue. The status quo is unacceptable to everyone.

Whether Americans want it or not, our dependence upon oil has created a legacy that produced hatred toward Americans and the free world because so many people in the Middle East were left out of the economic reward. Their autocratic governments and their leaders exploited the situation to keep themselves in power while creating an enemy for their populations to hate.

There are few options for the U.S. and allies:

  1. Fight and win the war for freedom.
  2. Develop and employ political action that converts hate to the prospect for peaceful coexistence.
  3. Promote accelerated development of sustainable economies beginning in the free world.

Each of these actions is long term and require comprehensive policies and strategies. They must be developing from and by a cohesive American government that combines effective Presidential leadership with a qualified and effective bipartisan Congress.

“Islamic State video purports to show beheading of U.S. journalist


BAGHDAD Wed Aug 20, 2014 7:10am EDT

(Reuters) - Islamic State insurgents posted a video on Tuesday purportedly showing the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley and images of another U.S. journalist whose life they said depended on how the United States acts in Iraq.

The video, titled "A Message To America," presented President Barack Obama with bleak options that could define America’s next phase of involvement in Iraq and the public reaction to it, potentially deepening his hand in a conflict he built much of his presidency on ending.

Obama held back from making a public statement about the beheading until the video could be formally authenticated.

"If genuine, we are appalled by the brutal murder of an innocent American journalist and we express our deepest condolences to his family and friends," White House National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said in a statement.

The video's grisly message was unambiguous, warning of greater retaliation to come against Americans following nearly two weeks of U.S. air strikes that have pounded militant positions and halted the advance of Islamic State, which until this month had captured a third of Iraq with little resistance.
Posted on social media, the video brought a chilling and highly personal tone to a conflict that for many Americans had started to become all too familiar.

Foley, 40, was kidnapped by armed men on Nov. 22, 2012, in northern Syria while on his way to the Turkish border, according to GlobalPost, a Boston-based online publication where Foley had worked as a freelancer. He had reported in the Middle East for five years and had been kidnapped and released in Libya.

Steven Sotloff, who appeared at the end of the video, went missing in northern Syria while reporting in July 2013. He has written for TIME among other news organizations.”

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