James Foley was fearless. As an independent videographer and reporter, he regularly risked his life to travel to unfathomably dangerous places so the rest of the world could better understand the horrors so many people endure.
Mr. Foley’s recent beheading by ISIS, shared worldwide via a maddeningly gruesome video posted on the Internet, came 21 months after he was captured south of the Turkish border. Prior to his capture, Mr. Foley spent several weeks documenting the rapidly escalating civil war in Syria, where he once narrowly missed being hit by a tank shell.
During the video of the execution, Mr. Foley’s murderer says the killing was retaliation for recent airstrikes ordered against ISIS in Iraq by President Barack Obama. After Mr. Foley was killed, another captured American journalist, Steven Sotloff, was paraded in front of the camera and threatened with death if the strikes continued.
In response, the president said Wednesday that the United States would not retreat until it had removed the “cancer” that is ISIS from the Middle East. The U.S. launched new airstrikes after the release of the beheading footage.
The evil of ISIS exceeds even that of al-Qaida. In fact, ISIS tactics have been so brutal that al-Qaida kicked the group out of the terror network earlier this year. ISIS wants a caliphate that stretches through Syria and Iraq. They have forced hundreds of thousands of people from their homes, imposed Sharia law in the territories they’ve conquered and have ruthlessly murdered countless men, women and children. They have vowed to destroy any and all “apostates, infidels, and hypocrites” who stand in their way. In the words of their official spokesman, they vow to “raise the flag of Allah in the White House.” And people from all over the world are joining them — Mr. Foley’s murderer spoke perfect English and appears to be a native of Great Britain.
President Obama vows that the U.S. will “do what we must to protect our people.” Although the White House revealed that an extensive yet ultimately unsuccessful rescue mission had been launched to free Mr. Foley and his fellow captives, the administration has not yet announced any plans to increase the country’s military presence in the Middle East.
ISIS is not just an enemy of the United States. This maniacal army of evil is an enemy of the entire world. It will take the entire world to stop them. And Muslims who want to halt the hijacking of their faith should lead the charge.