Wednesday, August 20, 2014

ISIS execution of American journalist goes down a very nasty path; US, European countries conflict on ransom policies


CNN and other sources have been reporting that Special Forces had tried to rescue journalist James Foley, who was executed by decapitation with a video made by ISIS (or ISIL).  Barbara Starr’s report and video are here

President Obama addressed the nation on the execution today at 12:50 PM from vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, link to White House video here
  
It has also been reported that the executor spoke with a British accent, and British and US intelligence authorities are trying to identify the person.  ISIS apparently wanted to retaliate against American air strikes by executing an American civilian. 

Further, someone in ISIS actually sent Foley's family a brazen email (or multiple emails) with many threats, which would only have give military intelligence possibly useful leads.  If I got an email like this, I would probably mark it spam and never open it.

CNN reminds viewers that Foley was a freelance journalist, and had covered Libya before and been imprisoned before. 
    
Although US military forces can sometimes rescue civilians overseas, the US never pays ransom for kidnappings.  But some European countries will do so.   Likewise, the US presumably would not pay ransom for gang-like kidnappings in Mexico or Central America. 
   
The worst scenario would be such a kidnapping happening within a western country, even the US, by a domestically reared but radicalized terrorist.  It would seem that ransom should not be paid to appease a terrorist ever, even to save a life.  We could all become combatants someday. It seems as though ISIS looks at all civilians not of their religion as enemies and soldiers.  I did live through the military draft of the 1960s.  A lot of people have never seen that.  Of course, soldiers are supposed to be protected by the Geneva Convention (as are local civilians) and violation is treated as a war crime.  But ISIS (like Hitler or Stalin) doesn’t seem to care.  I covered all of this on one of my Wordpress blogs recently, link.
 
Other journalists in captivity include Steven Sotloff and about twenty others according to this Huffington Post article by Jack Mirkinson here

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