Another American journalist, Steven Sotloff, reportedly has been murdered by ISIL.
Good God in heaven! This tragedy defies any civilized human being’s emotional tolerance. What should be our response? What must the United States do to punish these monstrous murderers?
I submit we must do what we’ve been seeking to do for weeks: Bomb them into oblivion.
The outcry from U.S. politicians is understandable and quite predictable. The chairman and ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee — Republican Ed Royce of California and Democrat Eliot Engel of New York, respectively — say President Obama must take immediate action. He must do something more than what he’s been doing.
I keep circling back to the key question: To what end do we ratchet up our response to these monsters?
If we’re talking about sending troops into battle in Syria and back into Iraq, my strong sense is that the country has zero appetite for more warfare. If we’re thinking about boosting our aerial campaign, well, I’m all for that.
Everyone on Planet Earth now understands that ISIL — the Islamic State and The Levant — has redefined barbarism. No one wants them to continue operating.
In our rage over what’s reportedly happened to another U.S. journalist, let us be mindful of at least two key elements.
One, the administration is hitting ISIL hard already in Iraq and there are increasing reports of a stepped-up aerial assault against the monsters in Syria. I’m quite sure an expanded air campaign is about to commence.
Two, ISIL is fighting another enemy of the United States, forces loyal to Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. It’s that dual-enemy threat that presents a seriously complicated task facing the United States of America. Destroying ISIL is in our best interest, but we must be mindful of who precisely benefits directly from ISIL’s elimination in Syria. I’m not saying in the least we should go easy in ISIL simply because Assad stands to gain. I’m merely saying that our rage over Sotloff’s gruesome death should not overtake rational thinking in preparing the right kind of response to this despicable act.
Keep bombing, Mr. President. If they respond with more heinous acts, bomb them some more.