How will Obama and the US respond to IS’s murder of James Foley ?

Channel 4 News:

“Islamic State releases a video showing the murder of US journalist James Foley, apparently at the hands of a British jihadi fighter. Barack Obama says he will continue to do what he can to protect US citizens.”

Channel 4 News: “How will the US respond to James Foley murder?”

2 Responses

  1. ‘How will Obama and the US respond to IS’s murder of James Foley?’

    Obama responded by debating theology with IS (‘No just God would stand for what they did’), followed by threats of bloody revenge.

    It would be useful if we could condemn people like IS and bin Laden as immoral monsters with a preposterous worldview. But magical thinkers such as Obama foreclose the option of appealing to reason. American orthodoxy dictates that the primary source of ethical rules for human beings is an invisible supernatural being, the vengeful god whose rules are codified in the blood-drenched pages of the Torah/Bible.

    Once we open the door to irrationality, it’s problematic to complain about who walks through, and we surrender a crucial tool – logic – for objecting to the behavior of these violent wackos.

    Religion should be treated like alcohol, gambling, and fatty foods – permitted but not encouraged.

  2. This situation here is set to get out of hand, as if the region ever were in-hand.

    But first, connect a few dots, starting with the alarmism of the press conference with Hagel and Dempsey, summarized here: link to

    Then scan the three pertinent and illustrative posts on this website in the last 24-hours (“If Terrorism Hits…..”, “Failed US War on Terror….,” “ISIS to US…..”). NOT to mention a slew of earlier articles whose underlying motif is that these guys are a different animal, that may actually amount to something serious. NOT to mention a guest article where the author made the still typically unrecognized reality that Al Qaeda is a movement, and not a top-down organization that can be dealt with on those terms. Especially in this regional, one never really knows, even when they are sober and presumably have learned something from the bitter experience of the last decade.

    This time around the US is bound to do a better job on its homework, and it has a nut holding on the wheel a bit more securely than the last time around (at least for the moment). However, this game is one we ultimately have no real control over. While we may blow-up a bunch of stuff and get even more of our (and local) people killed, to think we can control events there is insane. Remember that line about people that continue to bash their head against the wall in the face of all experience?

    It strikes me the IS is just daring the US to commit again, drawing from its apparently bottomless well of money and hubris. And they quite possibly are being managed by the same professional army guys who gave us such a good time back in those happy pre-surge days. McGraham et al like to strut-on about how the surge was a success, but I suspect the IS may be in better touch with the reality of things than those bozos.

    US Independence is the only way out of this mess, and we’ll never be totally extricated until the Palestinian/Israeli thing is resolved (absolution also being a theoretical option), but that’s just not going to happen anytime soon. So the best the administration can do is aim for relatively less harm, but it can push REALLY HARD for alternative energy, as a no-kidding matter of true national security.

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