I was having dinner with friends the evening after Steven Sotloff’s memorial at Temple Beth Am in Pinecrest. Feeling drained and exhausted after a deeply sad week and a most heartbreaking service, we were discussing the death of Steven and the escalating crisis in Syria and Iraq.
One friend suggested that journalists, with all due respect, who place themselves in dangerous positions, who bravely make choices to follow stories into terrorist countries, assume the risk and consequences of their professional actions. He went on to say that we, as a country, can’t start a war over the death of a few people. I gave this a great deal of thought over the last few days, for his point had validity – the USA has had its fill of wars overseas.
However, the horrific deaths of Steven Sotloff and James Foley will serve as the precipice for the US, England and Muslim countries to jump from. This is, has been and will be a long and treacherous war with Islamic terrorists who will stop at nothing to accomplish their mission of domination. They are extremely well funded and organized and seemingly have a sick alluring capacity to recruit the weak, needy and disenfranchised to their cause. Their hatred, irrational disregard for human life, brutality, and single-mindedness is incredibly frightening. And it is this fear that the ISIS propaganda machine is so effective at capitalizing on.
My friend is wrong. This war is not confined to Syria, Iraq or the Middle East for that matter. They are here in the US. They are in England and France. They are our neighbors and co-workers, cloaked in Americanism. I’m not being paranoid….just realistic.
The world must see the murder of Steven Sotloff and James Foley as a call to action. We must have a master plan to wipe out this evil that plagues the world. As Rabbi Bookman said in his sermon on Friday, Islamic terrorists are like a cancer. They strike suddenly, without provocation and without regard for human life. Their cells divide quickly, unchecked, knowing no boundaries, spreading death and despair far and wide.
President Obama does not see ISIS as a threat to homeland security. He is taking a measured approach, calling upon all countries to degrade the capabilities and shrink the territories of ISIS. He calls upon all nations, but especially the Suni opposition forces in Jordan, UAE and Turkey to be our “boots on the ground” since ISIS is the Muslim nations biggest threat.
How do you feel about this?