Wednesday, December 24, 2014

German writer gives chilling look of life under ISIL; Washington Post writer argues for moderation on ransom issue

German author Juergen Todenhoefer was able to film in Raqqa and then Mosul, Iraq, and reports on CNN about ISIS (or ISIL), “They’re more dangerous than people realize”.  The movement has made a spectacle with a relatively small army.  At any moment, he could have been captured or killed.  There is actually some appearance of "normalcy" in these cities.  

The 3-minute clip shows a 13 year old fighter, and reports young professionals so dedicated to their religious ideology that they will sacrifice everything.  To westerners, forcing others to convert to a religion makes no moral sense. Frederik Pleitgen reports on the “interview” with the German filmmaker.

I'm only one degree of separation from Mosul personally.  When I worked for the Minnesota Orchestra in 2002-2003, a co-worker had a (Christian) relative in Mosul, who at the time lived relatively well. Christians have been driven from the city or executed, so I dread to think what might have happened.  

There is also an significant op-ed by Dana Milbank in the Washington Post, urging a moderate position on ransom, saying the US should not make it a crime for families or other friends of someone captured to pay ransom to a terrorist.  The link is here.  So far, all of these (geo-politically motivated) cases have occurred overseas. I have a further detailed statement of my own personal stance on any participation in such an activity on the “contract sequence” of a Wordpress blog, Aug. 12, 2014, here

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