On Tuesday, August 19, 2014, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) released a video that shows the gruesome beheading of American journalist James Foley. The extremist group threatened to kill another captured photojournalist, Steven Joel Sotloff of Miami if the U. S. does not stop its airstrikes in Iraq.
The 40-year old Boston-based Foley disappeared in Northern Syria on November 22, 2012 while reporting on casualties at the frontlines claimed by the rebels. It is ironic that this man who seemed sympathetic to the sufferings of people in the war-torn Middle East should suffer such a fate.
American journalist Jim Foley just before his death
The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said about 20 journalists of different nationalities are missing in Syria. CPJ believes that the captives are being used as ransoms. There have been little reports on the missing journalists in order to lessen the threats on their lives and health.
Here’s the take from my good email friend, Virgilio Gonzales from Danbury, Connecticut:
“Islam is a religion of peace. No further proof is needed than 9/11 when its radical followers sent 3000 Americans to rest in peace. That was just the beginning. Now they are doing it again in Iraq with more brutality and savagery than ever.
“You don’t have to be a Christian, just be a normal human being, to be shocked at what the ISIS is doing in Iraq.
“Man’s inhumanity to man is nothing new under the sun. In recent history we have seen the likes of the Holocaust, the Japanese atrocities in WWII, the killing fields in Vietnam and Cambodia, the Tiananmen Square massacre, the Russian gulags and many others. But this one in the Middle East goes beyond the pale.
“In this ethnic cleansing Christians, Yazidis and other minorities in Iraq are being maltreated and murdered for just being different. We wonder if our world has gone mad. In this day and age we expect people to be more civilized, educated and enlightened. But it is not so.
“When helpless and innocent men (and even children) are being decapitated and their heads impaled and displayed on iron fences, we wonder at what manner of people these are. Do they have any human feelings or conscience at all?
“President Obama seemed to have already given up the fight, although he has authorized air drops of humanitarian supplies and limited air strikes against Islam militants in Iraq. He said: “As commander-in-chief I will not allow the United States to be dragged into another war in Iraq.”
“But we now live in a global village, made so by modern technology and weapons of mass destruction. What John Donne had said four centuries ago still rings true today: “No man is an island, entire of itself. Every man is a part of the main…Any man’s death diminishes me because I am involved in mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.”
“President Obama should not wash his hands off this genocide in the Middle East while Christians, Yazidis and Jews are being slaughtered.”
“War is Hell!” as Union General William Tecumseh Sherman said during the American Civil War. But the inhumanity shown in the Middle East seems to exceed what we are able to fathom. Back in 2002, a similar execution was done in Pakistan by the Al Qaeda which also shocked the world. Did the terrorists achieve its objective? As far as we know, the Americans hunted down the executioner and had him in some American jail.