james wright foley

James Wright Foley

The Islamic State also known as IS and previously the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) executed American freelance journalist James Foley, 40, yesterday. Foley was missing for over a year after reporting in Syria and read a statement before being beheaded by a member of ISIS in retaliation for US airstrikes in Iraq. Foley said in the video, likely under duress, “I call on my family and friends and loved ones to rise up against the real killers, the U.S. government,” and called on his brother – who is apparently in the US Air Force -  to refuse to bomb ISIS fighters.

ISIS also announced it would kill another reporter it appeared to show it had captured, Steven Joel Sotloff, if the US airstrikes against ISIS fighters in Iraq continued. Sotloff wrote for Time magazine and has been missing since 2013.

The video was titled “Obama authorizes military operations against the Islamic State effectively placing America upon a slippery slope toward a new war front against Muslims.” It began with a clip of the Aug. 7 nationwide television address in which Obama announced that he’d authorized limited U.S. airstrikes against the Islamic State, an al Qaida spinoff that since mid-June has overrun about 50 percent of Iraq and declared a modern-day caliphate on that territory and a huge swath of neighboring Syria that it controls.

Since his announcement, U.S. fighters, bombers and unmanned drones have staged more than 60 attacks to save members of the tiny Yazidi religious faith from Islamic State assaults, protect the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region and help Iraqi forces regain control of the country’s largest dam.

The retaliation cycle between US forces and ISIS is unstoppable now. So America has gotten itself yet another sworn enemy in the Middle East. To what benefit? None.

As far as this being some predestined outcome I can only direct you to the Saudi Arabian embassy in Washington where representatives enjoy full access to the White House and Congress despite their Wahhabi views and previous (if not current) involvement in terrorist operations against America. Some jihadists are more equal than others and can be dealt without outside of military means.

That ISIS and the US agree on little and hold each other in contempt is obvious, what is not so clear is what the US gains from warring with ISIS other than more dead Americans and wasted US taxpayer funds.

Ironically, the strength of ISIS is partly a the result of the US interfering with Iraq by toppling Saddam and giving the weapons ISIS now possesses to a dysfunctional Iraqi military. Is there any evidence that interfering again with Iraq’s internal politics will yield a better outcome?