Update: Thoughts on ISIS and James Foley

People are still worried about ISIS.

Last week, a video was released of US journalist James Foley being beheaded by ISIS. In that video, the life of another US journalist who is being held hostage, Steven Sotloff, was also threatened. Yesterday, Sotloff’s mother released a video in which she makes an emotional plea to the head of ISIS for her son’s return. It is interesting to note, that she calls the ISIS leader by his preferred title, “caliph.” I’m guessing this is a strategic move and not out of respect.

On the other hand, there are two other Americans reportedly being held by ISIS. Earlier this month, President Obama launched airstrikes in Iraq and is now considering targeting the ISIS in Syria. A group of lawmakers are now calling on Congress to vote on whether Obama should expand the attacks. Whether a vote will happen or if Obama will go out on his own, remains to be seen.

Some poeple have asked me what my thoughts are on the whole public execution video and what it means for foreign policy decision-making in the future. First off, to this day, I have not seen the video footage and absolutely refuse ever watch it. Everytime, someone or some news station tweets the link or whenever I’m channel surfing the news, I always skip and ignore the footage. I personally did not know Mr. Foley but I remember reading some of his pieces and I thought to myself what a brave and courageous person he must be to report such gruesome and terrible stories from inside the chaos, itself. Like many of his friends and colleagues, I would only prefer to remember his work and not his last moments. As for future foreign policy decision-making, I believe this situation will set a precedent for family members to publicly speak out and spark a social revolution for a better consistent and quicker response to to terrorist organizations. For during these times, lawmakers and leaders will be under more pressure to facilitate and create a “stand your ground” attitude and become more aggressive with their options.


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