Obama, Kerry mourn murdered journalist James Foley
By Ray Hanania
President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry issued a blistering attack against the religious terrorist organization ISIS over the brutal beheading of independent journalist James Foley.
Foley, 40, was murdered by ISIS, killed by a terrorist who covered his face but spoke with fluent British English, and gruesome murder was videotaped and posted on the Internet. Foley, a freelance journalist from New Hampshire, was taken hostage in November 2012 while covering the growing war in Syria.
The video showing Foley’s slaughter included images of US journalist, Steven Sotloff, who also has been held hostage by ISIS terrorists in Syria. Sotloff has worked for Time and Foreign Policy magazines.
Foley had reported on conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. He was arrested in Libya in April 2011 during the protests against Libya Tyrant Moammar Gadafy while on assignment for GlobalPost and was held for 44 days along with two other journalists in a Libyan prison until he was finally released.
Obama said the world was “appalled” at the Foley murder and said, ”
“No just God would stand for what they did yesterday or every single day,” Obama said Wednesday. “People like this ultimately fail. They fail because the future’s won by those who build and not destroy. The world is shaped by people like Jim Foley.”
Kerry released the following statement:
James Foley went to the darkest of places to shine the light of truth. Nothing could stop him from sharing with the world the reality of what was happening on the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan, or the struggle against a brutal dictator in Libya, and he was just as determined to do the same from Syria. He was brave and bold, and no masked coward can ever steal the legacy of this courageous American who lived out the meaning of the word journalism.
I was a Senator when James was first held in Libya, and we were first introduced to the Foley family. His family was as determined in working towards his release as James had been daring in covering those war zones himself. The sheer unfairness and unlikely odds that this young journalist would again find himself in captivity in another conflict was almost unimaginable. It is impossible to express how much we all wanted this latest horror to end with his family reunited, as it had been the first time.
Teresa and I, along with members of my family who got to know James’ mother Diane and his brother, are heartbroken for all of the Foleys. There are no words of condolence that can adequately convey our sorrow, our sympathy, or our anger for what has happened.
There is evil in this world, and we all have come face to face with it once again. Ugly, savage, inexplicable, nihilistic, and valueless evil. ISIL is the face of that evil, a threat to people who want to live in peace, and an ugly insult to the peaceful religion they violate every day with their barbarity.
We grieve for James Foley. We mourn for his family and his loved ones. We honor the courage and pray for the safety of all those who risk their lives to discover the truth where it is needed most. And make no mistake: we will continue to confront ISIL wherever it tries to spread its despicable hatred. The world must know that the United States of America will never back down in the face of such evil. ISIL and the wickedness it represents must be destroyed, and those responsible for this heinous, vicious atrocity will be held accountable.
Foley’s mother Diane released the following statement in the wake of the news that her son had been murdered:
We have never been prouder of our son Jim. He gave his life trying to expose the world to the suffering of the Syrian people.
We implore the kidnappers to spare the lives of the remaining hostages. Like Jim, they are innocents. They have no control over American government policy in Iraq, Syria or anywhere in the world.
We thank Jim for all the joy he gave us. He was an extraordinary son, brother, journalist and person. Please respect our privacy in the days ahead as we mourn and cherish Jim.
ISIS is an Islamic terrorist organization that has gone by several names including ISIS, Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and also ISIL Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. The official name of the terrorist organization in Arabic is “Al-Dawla Al-Islamiya fi al-Iraq wa al-Sham.” The term “al-Sham” refers to a region including most of the Middle East and North Africa. The terrorist group claims its goal is to restore an Islamic state, or caliphate, in this entire area.
Condemnation of the Foley murder came from across the middle East, although some criticized both Obama and Kerry for failing to speak out forcefully against the murder of civilians in the Gaza Strip by Israel.