Obama, allies vow firm response to Islamic State

Islamic militants post video of U.S. journalist's murder Tuesday and said they killed him because of U.S. airstrikes
Associated Press
Aug 20, 2014

The United States stood firm Wednesday in its fight against Islamic State militants who beheaded a U.S. journalist in Iraq, pledging to continue attacking the group despite its threats to kill another American hostage. President Barack Obama denounced the group as a "cancer" threatening the entire region as the administration weighed sending even more American troops to Iraq.

"We will be vigilant and we will be relentless," Obama said as the U.S. military pressed ahead with more airstrikes on Islamic State targets in Iraq.

The execution of journalist James Foley drew international condemnation, and western nations responded with stepped-up efforts to counter the threat posed by Islamic State. Germany announced it would supply the Kurds with weapons to fight the insurgent. Italy's defense minister said the country hopes to contribute machine guns, ammunition and anti-tank rockets. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said the killing showed the true face of this "caliphate of barbarism."

In capitals across the Middle East, by contrast, the news of Foley's death was met with silence, even in Syria and Iraq — the two countries where the Islamic State is strongest. On social media, people in the region condemned Foley's killing, but stressed that the Islamic State has been committing atrocities against Iraqis and Syrians for years.

In Foley's home town of Rochester, New Hampshire, his parents spoke to reporters in an appearance where wrenching grief over their son's death mingled with laughter over his life. Diane Foley said her son was courageous to the end and called his death "just evil."

"We are just very proud of Jimmy and we are praying for the strength to love like he did and keep courageous and keep fighting for all the people he was fighting for," she said. "We pray for all the remaining Americans."

Obama's remarks affirmed that the U.S. would not scale back its military posture in Iraq in response to Foley's killing. In fact, the State Department did not rule out extending military operations into Syria to bring those responsible to justice, with spokeswoman Marie Harf saying the U.S. "reserves the right to hold people accountable when they harm Americans. What that looks like going forward, those conversations will be happening."

Since the video was released Tuesday, the U.S. military has conducted 14 airstrikes on Islamic State targets. And U.S. officials said military planners were considering the possibility of sending a small number of additional troops to Iraq, at the request of the State Department, mainly to provide additional security around Baghdad.

Obama said he'd told Foley's family in a phone call Wednesday that the United States joins them in honoring all that Foley did, praising the journalist for his work telling the story of the crisis in Syria, where Foley was captured in 2012. "Jim Foley's life stands in stark contrast to his killers," Obama said. He spoke from Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts, where his family is vacationing.

Foley, 40, went missing in northern Syria in November 2012 while freelancing for Agence France-Presse and the Boston-based media company GlobalPost. The car he was riding in was stopped by four militants in a contested battle zone that both Sunni rebel fighters and government forces were trying to control. He had not been heard from since.

"All of us feel the ache of his absence," Obama said. "All of us mourn his loss."

The beheading marks the first time the Islamic State has killed an American citizen since the Syrian conflict broke out in March 2011, upping the stakes in an increasingly chaotic and multilayered war. The killing is likely to complicate U.S. involvement in Iraq and the Obama administration's efforts to contain the group as it expands in both Iraq and Syria.

The group is the heir apparent of the militancy known as al-Qaida in Iraq, which beheaded many of its victims, including American businessman Nicholas Berg in 2004.

The video released on websites Tuesday suggests increasing sophistication of the Islamic State group's media unit and begins with scenes of Obama explaining his decision to order airstrikes. It then cuts to Foley, kneeling in the desert. A masked militant is shown apparently beginning to cut at Foley's neck. The video fades to black before the beheading is completed; the next shot shows Foley's dead body.

The militant in the video has not been identified, but he spoke with a British accent, and British Prime Minister David Cameron said that "from what we have seen it looks increasingly likely that is a British citizen." U.S. officials agreed with that assessment.

GlobalPost President Philip Balboni said the news service received an email "full of rage" last week in which Foley's captors threatened to kill him. Balboni said the White House was aware of the threat, but no negotiations took place.

Obama did not specifically mention Steven Sotloff, another kidnapped American journalist that Islamic State says could be killed next. But he offered prayers on behalf of the American people for "those other Americans who are separated from their families."

A man identified as Sotloff appears at the end of the Foley video. Sotloff was kidnapped near the Syrian-Turkish border in August 2013. He had freelanced for Time, the National Interest and MediaLine.

Tuesday's airstrikes by American fighter jets and drones centered on targets around the Mosul Dam and were designed to help Iraqi and Kurdish forces create a buffer zone at the key facility, according to a U.S. official. The official was not authorized to discuss the ongoing operations publicly so spoke on condition of anonymity.

Since Aug. 8, there have been 84 U.S. airstrikes in Iraq on Islamic State targets — including security checkpoints, vehicles and weapons caches. It's not clear how many militants have been killed in the strikes, although it's likely that some were.

The Islamic State militant group is so ruthless in its attacks against all people they consider heretics or infidels that it has been disowned by al-Qaida's leaders. In seeking to impose its harsh interpretation of Islamic law in the lands it is trying to control, the extremists have slain soldiers and civilians alike in horrifying ways — including mounting the decapitated heads of some of its victims on spikes.

Senators from both parties condemned the killing, and some Republicans questioned Obama's resolve in confronting the Islamic State.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said Obama's tone was right but his strategy insufficient.

"The strategy should be to launch all-out air attacks in Iraq and Syria to defeat ISIS, not stop them," McCain said in a telephone interview.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists says that more than 80 journalists have been abducted in Syria, and estimates that around 20 are currently missing there. It has not released their nationalities. In its annual report in November, the committee described the widespread seizure of journalists as unprecedented and largely unreported by news organizations in the hope that keeping the kidnappings out of public view may help in the captives' release.

 

Comments

sugar

This new violence and beheading lays directly on the shoulders of , we are pulling all troops out of Iraq Obama.

knowitall

Iraq wanted us out...completely. Remember? Shouldn't have been there at all. Saddam was keeping control,pretty good. Democracy isn't for everyone.

Silent_Majority

Really Knowitall... I take it you have been to Iraq or maybe you served in the first Gulf War. For some reason I highly doubt you've done nothing bit piss and whine your whole life along with your favorite talk show host or god to you Glen Beck. Your uneducated comment about the Iraqi people is totally 100% ignorance. You are the perfect example of self centered Americanism that thinks you are bestowed by God democracy because only you are so perfect and worthy of it.
With your trashy vile opinion you just slapped every freedom loving Iraqi citizen and threw your excrement on every soldier who died in Iraq and their families along with the men/women whom served over there. What we accomplished over there was one of my generations finest moments. I will proudly risk my life again for the chance to help those fine citizens maintain their freedom. You, your cowardly polititions and propagandize news media do not have one iota of a clue about the history of Saddam (The Butcher of Baghdad) and his satanic sons. Since you "know- it- all" I will refresh your memory.
Saddam was and executioner/henchmen of the now defunct Baath party where is uncle was the leader. Saddam slaughtered his way to the top by killing friends and relatives to gain control of the Baath party. Then sent his uncle in exile somewhere in France. Saddam gained control of Iraq by literally slaughtering and mutilating all who opposed him and his party. Enter the Satanic sons who were known to go about the country and notice any beautiful child, teen, married, or whatever and literally rape and abuse them in some of the most ungodly ways.
Too bad you couldn't of met them i'm sure they would've found you as one of their best friends. Thanks for caring about the Iraqi people but as you can see they don't need your kind of help. Enjoy your life!

jazzb0

" Saddam gained control of Iraq by literally slaughtering and mutilating all who opposed him and his party."

-- What did you expect Saddam to do ...give his opponents ice cream and cake ?

Unless you have more firepower ...Obey the laws of the land or get punished - that's how it works.
Or , get the hell out.

A bad government is better than NO government.

I shudder to think of some of the screwballs who post here that want to overthrow government of the USA and set up their authority.
THEY should be thanking God that we DONT have a dictator ruling us , otherwise THEY would be dead right now.

Thank daddy George H.W. Bush for NOT finishing the job of destroying Saddam and betraying the people of Iraq.

"You're doing a heckuva job Saddam "
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wiki...

Silent_Majority

What on earth are you babbling about? I never said one thing about over throwing the Gov. Of the USA. I love this country for the good people that stand up for what is right and just this Gov. In my opinion is blatently failing in that category miserably. You Jazzbo seem like one of those people that do not understand why some people serve. I know it a giant leap for people like you that have no life but to watch false news and learn about the world through Wikipedia (lmao). Are some sort of democratic apologist? It is the human spirit that yearns to be free regardless of nationality, color, and religion. Our Major said it best when he proclaimed, " There are 3 kinds of people in the world, those that are free, those that want to be free, and there are the drones". My question to you is which category do you fall in?

jazzb0

Sounds like you fall under my statement of :
"I shudder to think of some of the screwballs who post here that want to overthrow government of the USA and set up their authority."

What are YOU babbling about ?

Are YOU some sort of Right-wing militia group apologist?

" You Jazzbo seem like one of those people that do not understand why some people serve. I know it a giant leap for people like you that have no life but to watch false news and learn about the world through Wikipedia (lmao)."

-- Very arrogant and presumptive , aren't you ?

FYI - I served .

Did you ?

The Big Dog's back

silent, wack jobs like yourself believe everyone thinks like you, or they should.

knowitall

Jazzbo and Big Dog.....this is the kind of guy our country should worry about.

jazzb0

For sure.

knowitall

Silent.....you sound like a troubled human being. Get real with all your holier than thou crap. There is so much strife in this world. You expect the US to save each and every person who lives in a horrible country? Think again! Look what we, the US, have now in a war that Bush started on false pretenses. God bless our servicemen and women. You must be a war monger too.

ohioengineer

Silent - thank you for your post. I admire your courage and willingness to state your opinion in a reasoned manner. This is what America and democracy are all about: reasoned dialogue; versus the name-calling that many commenters resort to on this site.

knowitall

Reasoned manner? He was outright belligerent! I am not sure if he served. People can lie on this blog. So, I can't have an opinion that is different than his opinion? Talk about anti-American....his comments are the epitome of that. I am as American as he is, maybe more. If I spouted his bull squat, I'd be labeled a right wing John Bircher.

jazzb0

"...reasoned manner "...

Bawwwhahahah !!!

thinkagain

I agree. I was a proud American the day Saddam’s statue came tumbling down. Thank you for the part you played in bringing that about. And yes, there is still more work to be done.

The Big Dog's back

And how's that worked out neverthinks?

jazzb0

" And yes, there is still more work to be done."

--- That's a very great downplay and/or understatement of the big mess that Bush left the USA and Iraq with.

PS

We cant make our precious Republican party look bad now , can we ?

knowitall

Silent Majority........How is their freedom working for them today? They cut and run! They don't want to be a united nation. Are you blind to that? Biden had it right....three separate countries....Sunni, Shia, Kurds. Guess what, that is what they are doing now and really have been since the beginning. So, think a little about their history before you try to impose something they don't want. Freedom is great if you can sustain it. It ain't happening over there. Get a brain you ignoramus.

jazzb0

Well said.

knowitall

Silent.....I don't need your history lesson Silent. I am well aware of the history....more than you. Where are those WMDs again? Hey, Russia doesn't have freedom and they DO have WMDs. They are even aimed at us! Let's invade them! You are a self righteous ultra conservative war monger.
So, rather than comment on this subject......follow what your name says you are. I think the majority of Americans wanted out of the Iraq quagmire. So, you are really the silent minority.

Brick Hamland

Obama is back from vacation... great. I wonder if he knew about this or Ferguson, who cares I guess as long as he got all his vacation in and got to play golf I guess its ok

The Big Dog's back

Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and Powell should be forced to watch the videos below over and over. They are solely responsible for what has happened in Iraq. This isn’t Obama’s fault. It’s the fault of the neo-cons that wasted $1.5 trillion of our wealth, killed or maimed 50,000 American soldiers, murdered hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis, and have unleashed religious wars across the Middle East. The military industrial complex thanks them heartily. Colin Powell said this to President Bush before the Iraq invasion:

“You are going to be the proud owner of 25 million people. You will own all their hopes, aspirations, and problems. You’ll own it all.”

Donegan

Dog if you are going to plagiarizer other peoples crap at least give them credit for writing it. http://www.theburningplatform.co...
And No we should blame the president of the US right now he has had 6 years and to quote you and all the other brain dead libs in the country "We Won". Yes you did "Win" So now you own the entire ball of wax, If you did not want the responsibility you shouldn't have even tried for the job.

The Big Dog's back

So when people like you phuch things up it is up to someone else to fix?

Donegan

I was against it when it first started and I am still against it. Unlike your party who just so happened to vote to allow the attacks.(You hypocrites are still gonna vote for Hillary and act like you do not like war. LOL!) Remember "WE WON!" Yes you did if you cannot take responsibility after 6 years you people NEVER need to hold office. Anyways, Quit stealing things, Just because you do not get to loot in Ferguson does not give you the right to plagiarize others.

The Big Dog's back

done again, do I have to post the votes on the Iraq war again?

Donegan

Would it make you happy to steal more stuff that other people wrote? You are a war monger, You excuse Obama killing people left and right and could care less if they all died. You are a hypocrite and Bush is bad, Hillary and the rest of your gods are good even though they believe and do the same things. We get it.

knowitall

How many people were killed in "shock and awe" ?

grumpy

YOU are the one who claimed, a couple days ago, 9/11 was Bush's fault after 9 months, as President, puppy. How many months has obama been President? YOU are the one who put the limit at less than 9 months... now live with you time limit. It is obama's fault, using your logic.

DickTracey

Hahaha, way to call out Big Dog! Nice copy and paste,
Loser. Did you really think we believed you wrote that?

We know anything more than one sentence that is spelled right and doesn't contain the words right wing nut job, could not possibly come from the feeble mind of the trolling uneducated, unemployed, lazy dog.

Ralph J.

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