Not only do our U.S. military overseas and those at home (our local police) contend daily with holding the barbarians at bay. We don't usually think of the majority of stateside journalists as being in the same category as our armed forces (read the beginning of Michelle Malkin's apt "The Ferguson Media Feeding Frenzy" http://www.vdare.com/articles/the-ferguson-feeding-frenzy) but there are those who fearlessly put themselves in the line of fire to tell the stories of those who can't speak (worldwide) for themselves.
One such person was James Foley, and by now you probably know as much, if not more, than I about his life and death. It's ironic that he worked tirelessly for many years in the Middle East; he was actually kidnapped, held, and released after 44 days in Libya (April 2011) before being snatched again in northern Syria near the Syrian-Turkish border on Thanksgiving Day, 2012. He had assured his mother, Diane, that he would be home for Christmas.
There are, disturbingly, reputed to be more than 80 reporters kidnapped with about 20 deemed "missing". Not only the United States but western nations such as France, Denmark and Spain are some of their home countries. Many are believed to be held by ISIS and one journalist, Steven Sotloff (USA) captured in August 2013 and shown on video, will be the next victim if the United States continues its air strikes in Iraq. Isolationist-dreamer that I am, I admittedly feel relieved that the U.S. is attacking ISIS.
[Obama: "We will do what we must to protect our people."]
An escalating war in the Middle East is the opposite of what was expected in 2011 when the bulk of our troops returned home. And the knowledge that it puts more of our prisoner-journalists over there at greater risk is terribly unsettling. It's easy to shrug one's shoulders in smug complacency while intoning self-righteously "they knew what they were getting themselves into and - bloody hell - that's their job anyway". That's a gutless response. Especially from the comforts of a still-sentient American city desk. Foley, Sotloff and Austin Tice (a former Marine turned journalist who disappeared in Syria, August 2012) take dangerous risks as freelance reporters in the world's most treacherous places, too often underpaid if indeed they're even paid at all! And too many online news sites are reluctant to commit to genuine salaries for these gutsy correspondents.
It's ironic that a handful of dedicated reporters, willing to hazard their safety and sanity in the toughest of territories, literally toiling in the trenches are largely unknown to mainstream readers until the ultimate catastrophe occurs. Many of us simply hadn't known or read James Foley's reporting until last Tuesday's (19 August) ghastly video emerged. We weren't aware, until now, that fellow colleagues Steven Sotloff and Austin Tice have suffered lengthy imprisonments. Ironic again that it takes a horrifying death to make us aware when we should have been paying closer attention.
It's long past the time when we can continue to play the Quisling. How outrageous that the 9/11 attacks alone hasn't sufficed as the ultimate Wake-Up Call! If the West (Europe-USA-Canada-Australia) and our allies (India-Israel-Japan) will not fight to WIN, then a similar fate awaits us all. And that's something to which even a Quisling might give second thoughts.
Rest in Peace, James Foley.