Creating the Conditions for Violence Against Journalists
I haven’t watched the war porn featuring journalist James Foley being beheaded by the Islamic State, but I did watch the news break on Twitter and spread. My heart breaks for his family. The ghastly circumstances of his death by itself is hard to fathom, but the public/political manner in which Foley’s death is being processed may almost be worse.
Politically, the UK will now be scrambling to contain the virulent ISIS jihadi contagion. There have already been reports of ISIS supporters in London handing out leaflets. Now, there is speculation James Foley’s executioner is a British citizen:
The British government has started the hunt for the executioner of American reporter James Foley. Foley was killed by beheading and the video of the tragic act was publicly issued by ISIL-run media outlet AlFurqan. Today, the White House authenticated the video and confirmed Foley’s murder.
Prime Minister David Cameron cut his vacation short after just a day of rest to address the situation in Iraq following the discovery of the video, and the belief that the man responsible could be a British citizen. Cameron is working with foreign secretary Philip Hammond to investigate. The executioner in the video was identified as British by his distinct South East/Greater London accent.
The tall British executioner was clad in all black and is wearing a facemask, however, sources within Britain are already starting to identify him. He is the allegedly the leader of a group of British ISIL fighters in Syria. He is known, thus far, only as “John.” A former hostage of these fighters identified him to The Guardian as the head guard in Raqqa. One of his former hostages described him as “intelligent, educated and a devout believer in radical Islamic teachings.” He was born in the United Kingdom.
If Americans weren’t so insulated from their government’s complicity in creating the conditions for ISIS to thrive, Obama would be scrambling more than he is right now as his new Iraq war escalates.
He may even eschew golf, were America not so apathetic about how its tax dollars arm jihadis and militarizes police departments.
But the president does indeed continue to play golf as over a dozen journalists have been arrested by Ferguson police. One sociopath cop was even captured on camera shouting I’m going to fucking kill you.
Obama would have to really stretch his stage skills to portray any real concern for journalists. I mean, considering James Risen has, I think accurately, accused Obama of being the ‘greatest enemy of press freedom in a generation‘, why would anyone expect this administration to be responsive to the police state treatment of journalists in Ferguson (not to mention the institutional racism fueling the unrest in the first place).
ISIS claims to be holding and ready to execute another journalist, Steve Sotloff. There is a pretty good chance that is going to happen, because there is no way Obama would risk looking weak, especially considering a recently disclosed special op mission failed to free Foley and other hostages.
More troops will be heading to Iraq. Air strikes are ongoing. Congress doesn’t give a shit about it’s role so Obama is free to escalate his new Iraq war as he sees fit.
And if journalists want to report from the front lines of American-made chaos, they do so at their own risk.