On the bright side, the President has developed a killer golf swing.
“ISIS had recently threatened to kill U.S. journalist James Foley to avenge airstrikes the United States has conducted in Iraq, a senior U.S. official told ABC News.
The White House had been aware of the threat prior to the release…”
So military action to protect the Yazidis and the Christians from further atrocities was wrong?
Quite honestly, they were going to kill him anyway if no one rescued him first. We shouldn’t have had to bomb anyone or rescue anyone. There is an oft heard boast by a *peaceful majority* of Muslims who are watching all of this occur literally on their doorstep and in their public recreation areas… for over a decade. If they were who they claimed to be they would have tried to stop this years ago. But they have no interest in proving to the world that they are who they say they are… or protecting innocent people apparently.
What do you want the President to do?
Give some impression to the American people that he gives a shit and has not checked out?
and in the face of warnings about what turned out to be 9/11 …
Petey has a point, Mark. Why do you never criticize Bush? Or Dick Cheney?
Yeah, Mark – stop being such a Republican stooge!
For those who are irony-impaired, I am being ironic here.
Because I adore Bush/Cheney and think the Iraq War was an unmitigated triumph. Nobody badmouths the Most Flawless Administration in American History on *MY* watch, buster.
The President’s job isn’t to be our emotional leader. It doesn’t matter whether a President golfs or whether he runs around giving speeches claiming to feel our pain.
Rubbish. Part of the function of the President is to help pull the nation together in moments of national crisis and trauma, as Obama himself demonstrated in his fine speech after Sandy Hook and as Reagan did after the Challenger Disaster. It’s not in the Constitution but it’s been part of the job description since before the Gettysburg Address. Obama communicates disconnection, distance, and aloofness. Heck, even the French have been telling him to cancel his vacation indicate he’s not checked out.
I was moved by the Sandy Hook speech and came online and saw many of the good Catholics writing about how it was just crocodile tears because Obama hates babies and wants to kill them. I remember reading on FB about how he couldn’t be sad for those little children because he supports abortion.
This is what we do to our leaders. We give no one on the other side the benefit of the doubt. I think Obama’s checking out is a pretty human response to the office.
In fact, the only thing the Sandy Hook speech ultimately accomplished was the loosening of a dozen red states’ gun laws, fueled by the anti-Obama paranoia of gun rights’ advocates. If I were Obama, I would have already learned that any speech I give will likely just have the opposite effect of what I intend.
I was consoled by Obama’s speech. The fact that gun nuts responded to Sandy Hook with a deeper shade of nuttery was almost inevitable.
You’re kidding! Consoled by a presidential speech, I always find them some combination of mendacious, insincere, annoying and alarming. Hence I have long since (way before Obomber) stopped listening to or watching them. I can always read about them the next day. If a politician, especially the president, appears on my TV screen I switch to a happier channel. Kirt Higdon
Same here. I don’t appreciate bad acting… except for Keanu Reeves… for some reason I watch all of his movies. He’s got me hypnotised. I always want to see if he actually improves or if he’s always going to do his best Bill & Ted as [enter occupation here] impression. But I digress. At least with Keanu it isn’t bad acting accompanied with blantant lying. In my old age I’ve lost the taste for getting lied to in my face.
This is my point. Some of you can’t even acknowledge that he’s a human being. Obama’s a father. Why is it so inconceivable that he would tear up after Sandy Hook? Everyone in my office (including the secular pro-abortion democrats) was tearful that day.
This cynical attitude makes things worse. Obama can’t win. If he tears up, it’s bad acting. If he doesn’t, he’s aloof.
This refusal to see our opponents as human beings (they’re all Hitler or Stalin!) makes it impossible for us to connect with them. How can we convince them that they are wrong if we can’t even acknowledge their humanity? And then the flip side of this is that we acknowledge their humanity we start to believe that they are right because we can’t understand that decent human beings can be wrong.
Huh? That wasn’t my point. He’s a proven liar and a bad actor. His buddy Rahm Emmanuel advised him to never let a good crisis go to waste and Obama hasn’t. Why would I assume that he can be trusted just.this.once.? The Obamabots out there would never have trusted Dubya. Obama is the incarnation of Dubya multiplied by 10, yet they still want everyone to give him the benefit of the doubt. Tribalism is blinding… so utterly blinding.
“The Obamabots out there would never have trusted Dubya.”
“Why would I assume that he can be trusted just.this.once.?”
I just don’t get why it’s so beyond possible to assume that a father is genuinely sad about the deaths of a bunch of 6 year olds. Even if said father is a democrat and believes abortion should be legal.
“Obama is the incarnation of Dubya multiplied by 10, yet they still want everyone to give him the benefit of the doubt.”
Who is this “they” of which you speak? What “Obamabots?” I have some pretty hard core liberal friends and relatives and they don’t think Obama is the Messiah or that everything he does is right. You know why? Because they’re human beings and people are way more complicated than the black and white/ us vs them narrative of MSNBC and Fox News.
“Tribalism is blinding… so utterly blinding.”
Yeah and you appear to be pretty blinded.
Anna, I’m not talking about Sandy Hook! Please don’t get me wrong here. My concern is that this beheading will serve a purpose… a crisis that won’t be allowed go to waste. I’m genuinely concerned that we have another Daniel Pearl situation where this is all designed to lure the US, UK, and whoever else back into Iraq and the Syrian conflict. It’s not an *America stay out!* message. It’s America come in message. Ultimately it will be used to conquer Assad with the righteous indignation of the Western world behind it making things worse.
This Administration created ISIS. They nurtured ISIS. They suckled ISIS, Al Quaeda, and the Muslim Brotherhood and even did everything they could to conceal this relationship. They backed them all because of their backwards foreign policy. There is no way I’m going to fall for Obama’s *angry tone* as he publicly scolds his bad children while giving them treats behind his back and you shouldn’t either. I’m not talking about Sandy Hook. I’m talking about the present.
I’m just an internet combox warrior (aka ‘coward’), but I think the best move would be give the refugees asylum in the EU and US, provide a means to safely remove them from the countries where they are being persecuted, slap extremely stiff economic sanctions on every Muslim country where this problem exists until the peaceful majority show that they are actually willing to take action against the maniacs that share their religion and, when and if they do, offer them support. But if we commit to war we will be doing exactly what these maniacs want.
I think we also need to start reevaluating the *untouchable* status the Western countries have given Muslims who live in their communities. To deny that there is an extremely violent and dangerous strain to that religion is folly. When 300,000,000 Muslims think that slaughtering innocents is good and proper, there is a definite problem.
Bam. Just what I feared: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/22/world/middleeast/isis-believed-to-have-as-many-as-17000-fighters.html?_r=1
Tell me what tribe I’m a member of, please.
Agreed. The reflexive and all-consuming hatred of Obama is bizarre and unhelpful.
For the record, I don’t hate Obama. Don’t get me wrong. But I don’t trust him… at all. And I’d like to think that I have valid reasons *not* to trust him. He’s not the only politician in the world that don’t trust… er… um… trust me… 《nervous cough》
Right, because your impression of Mr. Obama is what REALLY matters…
Well … for one, this guy has been a hostage for two years? We can pluck a terrorist out of downtown Kenya, literally overnight, and we did nothing to secure this guy’s release while we were arming these beasts in Syria?
Do any of you know for a fact we did “nothing” to secure this guy’s release? Do any of here have a Snowden-level inside view of the military and intelligence agencies involved? Here’s the latest news on the “nothing” Obama did:
Of course, facts never matter for Obama is Satan’s Big Brother crew. Now, the story will be spun so that his decision to risk American lives in a rescue attempt that didn’t work out is ironclad evidence of his indifference to human life. When he did secure the release of Bowe Bergdahl from Islamist captivity, Obama was an even bigger scoundrel, because the Right “knew” Bergdahl was a traitor and should have been left to die there.
When Obama engages the enemy, he’s a heartless butcher and imperalist. When he doesn’t do it to your liking, ie launch a full-scale ground war on behalf of Iraq’s Christians, then he’s a wuss or secret Islamist himself. (Of course the cheerleaders for this war don’t have it in mind to go themselves. Their fantasy baseball army will be drawn from that ubiquitous genus of primate called “someone else’s kids”).
Basically the rule of political analysis of Obama is: whatever he did today, he did it wrong, and he did it from a deep personal Satanic evil. If Obama woke up tomorrow and personally rid the world of abortion, the war in Ukraine, Islamic terrorism, child slavery and bedbugs before lunch, he’d be evil. It would all be evidence of of some cynical play for power or his inhumanity for not doing more that morning.
I agree with a great many of the criticisms of Obama and his legacy and I do so as someone who had vastly different expectations of him at the outset. At the same time, the substance of those criticisms is lost in the blindly partisan, “truther” nutjobbery of the anti-Obama industry.
I’m glad we did try to rescue James Foley. I’m also glad we didn’t produce a hangar full of body bags trying further. I know he’s a nascent martyr and saint in some quarters now, and he apparently was a hear of gold guy, but Foley was also a fool. He had been taken before, but like so many in the macho foreign correspondent society, he figured he was too smart to get caught and too indispensable to “the story” to ever walk away.
So, if I’m in the Obama is the Big Brother of the Devil crew, or whatever, does that mean you are in the Obama Blind Defense League?
Not for 6 years now.
You’ve seen the light!
I should qualify my angst. Obama has lied and lied so more, especially to his fans that elected him. He lies without remorse. Perhaps there was a rescue mission to save Foley and the story wasn’t just conveniently leaked to the press a day after the video of Foley’s beheading hit YouTube as a desperate attempt at PR damage control. But him and his Administration have been so dishonest that I’m skeptical. It doesn’t mean that I don’t believe the new tale, it just means that I’d like to see hard evidence. Regardless, lest we forget, it was this Administration that coddled, carefully nurtured, armed, funded this group called ISIS in it’s infancy. The did it in Lybia, Egypt, Syria, and Iraq. They protected this fact from any prying eyes in the media and, even though it had already become well-known in the alternative media (thanks to these guys and their love of YouTube), it only became exposed during the Syrian conflict. Foley was taken hostage by these guys that this Administration raised like blessed children. Sooooo… even if they made an attempt to save Foley the question remains, ‘would Foley have ever been a hostage if the US hadn’t fostered the growth of his hostage takers in the first place?’. Another shock to the system for the Obamabots… this genocide and open persecution of Christians has been happening in every single self-proclaimed Muslim country on the globe. In Iraq, it’s been happening since the 2003 invasion. ONLY NOW, only after the death of a journalist that was held hostage by the group that this Administration is actually the caring parents of, does the President use real fighting words when talking about them. Cuz the hundreds of thousands of Christians just weren’t enough to pique anyone’s interest.
I do not know whether a US president could have stopped it, but Obama’s apathy and coldness are not surprising.
He could have called them out publicly. He could have had some special ops see if they could locate the reporters.
He stood by and did/said nothing. He cares not for human suffering, except keeping himself from the links. NOw, that is suffering.
Thanks for posting this information, Mark Shea.
But a real president would have found them.
Actually, no. A real president would do what Obama I has done… what he and his masters please. Remember that Obama is merely carrying the torch for Dubya. He’s a bit more zealous than Dubya, but they are no different.
It should have been apparent, but that was sarcasm. Despite there being no shortage of valid reasons to dislike Obama, many of his critics engage in constant goal shifting. E.g., Obama comments on Foley, and people ask why he didn’t do anything to rescue him, It comes out that he tried to rescue him, and instead people ask why he didn’t negotiate with ISIS.
I got the sarcasm, but it was a sarcasm intended as a defense of Obama… which prompted my response.
I don’t like Obama. Because I dislike Obama, I also don’t like lazy, stupid, dishonest critiques and critics of Obama.
Was that a swipe at me? Do you think Obama is making all of his reckless foreign policy decisions on his own? I was basically saying that it would be silly to believe that he has the freedom to define his own policy. That’s almost, in a strange way, a defense of Obama. Though I don’t trust the man… and I tend not to like people I don’t trust.
It’s a swipe at people who make lazy, stupid, dishonest critiques of Obama.
I’m skeptical. At the same time, didn’t the Administration negotiate for the realease of the Army deserter with an unbalanced trade of 5 extremist Muslims? They couldn’t negotiate a deal for these guys? And why didn’t this report come out when it allegedly occurred? To protect the hostages? Well, certainly exposing it now would put the survivors at risk, no? I honestly don’t believe a word that comes out of the US government anymore. How many lies will it take for you?
You do realize that ISIS and the Taliban are different organizations, right? Just because you can negotiate with one, that doesn’t mean anything about negotiating with the other.
Did they try? Both groups share one thing in common, they are both Muslim and they both enjoy killing innocent people. Hard to differentiate the two. If negotiation works for one group of the same barbarians it may work for the next.
That’s the sort of idiotic foreign policy that created the mess in Iraq in the first place.
What, negotiating? That’s what caused the mess?
Failing to draw appropriate distinctions between various groups of Muslims. If we knew the difference between, e.g., Ba’athists, the Taliban, and Al Qaeda, perhaps we would have made better decisions regarding Iraq.
To me, that seems to be the most rational course to have taken to resolve Foley’s capture. It’s good to hear that some attempt was made to save him.
I question the decision to release this information to the public because it seems only to serve the purpose of vindicating the politicians at the expense of national security. For example, ISIS will now know that the US obtained intelligence pointing them to this particular location and will be able to investigate WHO might have given them that information. Hopefully this isn’t going to come at the expense of the intelligence community or any of their sources.
I know that it’s tough for the President to be constantly scrutinized, but sometimes you have to take one on the chin for the good of others. Also, when you demonstrate that you act in good faith your word counts for more.
Just watched the President’s statement on James Foley. He doesn’t look well to me and I am praying for him. The world has gone mad.
i just listened to POTUS. He did say all the right things. I don’t know what he believes, however, given his apathy.
I know this seems petty, but, especially given O’s aloofness, I don’t like that he kept referring to James Foley as “Jim” as if he knew him. O has a habit of addressing officials or other public persons by their first name. I don’t know if it’s his attempt to seem familiar or in the cases of say senators, to put them down and not call them “senator X” in public. (I think he did that to Sen, McCain & Rep. Paul Ryan in the healthcare meetings at Blair house in 09 I guess.)
Yeah, it’s probably intentional messaging and not something he devised on his own.
The White House shares the blame for this as they literally helped create ISIS. You don’t expect that they would do anything to prevent it, do you? Obama is presently being nominated as the worst foreign policy POTUS in history in the UK. How he took the crown from his predecessor is amazing. I wonder if those who awarded him the Nobel Peace Prize are regretting it now.
But ultimately, this isn’t about him. We need to set our minds on the poor people his decisions have helped destroy.
I think that Obama IS naturally somewhat aloof. It’s a tough job. He hears about atrocities every day that probably don’t make news. It takes a certain will power to remain emotionally engaged through it all. And I think that those who live a prayerful life, like the Pope who spends half of his day on his knees, are the only ones able to do this job effectively.
Also Obama catches some flack for being a bit of an armchair President. President Bush spent a great deal of his free time with American troops, with war victims and their families. Sometimes forcing yourself to engage in acts of charity and mercy is a path to thinking more charitably and mercifully. I wish for that kind of conversion in President Obama.
Someone said on another post that Americans have lost their ability to concern ourselves with things that once united us. No sooner had I heard about this horrific act, than I began hearing various pundits pointing fingers and trying to score what points they could. I can remember a time when something like this, if even for a day or so, would have galvanized our country. Today, I heard about the story almost in lockstep with ‘is it Obama’s fault or Bush’s?’ Signs of times I guess.
I think that, by now, everyone has come to the understanding that the media heads in the US don’t represent the American people. What you heard is what those people have always believed. They just don’t give a damn about hiding it anymore. Also, if their apparent oitrage is authentic, pointing fingers seems to me a pretty natural response. After all, it was the US that created, funded, and supported ISIS in their nubile phase. It was that nurturing that may them the big boys they are today. Isn’t natural to be outraged at that and demand answers as to which Administration protected their demon child the most? After all, if it was this Administration, how can anyone trust this government to do the right thing? ISIS is their baby. You can’t ask a parent to hate it’s child.
What about you? Do the media heads speak for you?
From what I’ve seen on the Internet, I’m not sure it’s only the media heads who saw this and immediately thought ‘who’s to blame’ or ‘they’re wrong, we’re awesome’. Not that it never happened before. It did. It’s just that there was usually a couple days of unity and mourning and tribute or whatever given the situation. Then came the finger pointing and score making.
It could also be because everyone on the internet knew this had been going on for over a decade already. This is one beheading among thousands, it just happens to be an American journalist this time. For many, the mourning has already taken place and it has been replaced with anger and disgust… which often leads to irrational behaviour. I’m guilty of pointing fingers in anger as well. But, I still mourn for this man and his family. I’m angry because this stuff has been well known for at least 4 years and been covered extensively in the alternative media. I’m angry because one genocide later, the world finally reacts because an American journalist suffers the same fate of hundreds of thousands of Christians who happen to live in Muslim countries. I’m angry because the US created this problem (or at least used an already violent blood-thirsty religion – when the peaceful majority within those Muslim countries actually do something to stop this and prove that Islam is a religion of peace and not just a religion of peace *for Muslims* then I’ll take it back – to create these monstrous animals) and they didn’t do much to prevent his murder. Sure, there’s a convenient report of a failed rescue attempt… but they could have easily negotiated for his return like they have for others… and they didn’t. I’m angry because I always defended Islam with the *peaceful majority* tract. I stopped defending them about 4 years ago when the autrocities started flooding the alternative media, however, I still believed in the *peacful majority*. Now there is nothing left to defend. My Muslim aquaintances are making such a big deal out of Gaza (and rightly so), but the monsters raping, beheading, crucifying, persecuting Christians in every single one of their countries don’t outrage them at all. It’s perfectly clear to me why these animals are allowed by this *peaceful majority* to kill, rape, and torture at will based on the reaction of the so-called *peaceful* Muslims who are my aquaintances… they tacitly agree to it! I feel duped. They do nothing but ask us to differentiate between them and their comrades performing the will of Muhammed and Allah. They cry over Gaza and expect us all to cry over Gaza while not even giving a second thought to what’s going on in every single Muslim nation (and even Catholic nations like the Philippines). Note: I stand in solidarity with them on Gaza, not with Hamas, but with the human meat shields that Israel is OK with blowing to bits to get to the terrorists holding them hostage. Hamas is just another organ of Al Queso and ISIS… shells of humans who have left their humanity on the altar of their god, Satan.
According to at least some news reports, Foley was offered for ransom some time before he was killed. Other organizations have paid IS ransoms for hostages and got them back safe. Ransoming captives is both a work of Christian charity and a practice of long standing in war. In contemporary times, hostages taken by insurgent groups have been ransomed in such places as Colombia and Lebanon. Of course, if what you are looking for is a way to enrage people for more war, it is better to allow a beheading. Kirt Higdon
On the other hand, when ransom is paid, people say “why are you giving in to terrorists”: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/oliver-north-bowe-bergdahl
I’m not saying he should let that guide him, but we must not forget, anything he did, the same people criticizing him now would find excuse to criticize him.
1) How dare you engage in military action 2) How dare you pay for ransom 3) How dare you not do 1 or 2
That is all which will come. Again, let’s be honest, the solution to the problem is not easy to discern. And Obama was trying a little of 1 and it failed. I myself agree with you there is room for ransom, but again, let’s be honest in what the rhetoric that would come from it.
Criticism comes with the office. Every president will be criticized no matter what is done. Not saying what he should have done or not. Just that being criticized will happen no matter what. It comes with the job.
Yes. However, the point of the matter is whether or not the criticism will be consistent with principles, or just criticism because he is not liked and inconsistent pragmatic relativism guides the criticism. Saying he will receive criticism, therefore, does not address the point of what kind of criticism, and how inconsistent those who consistently criticize him are and why their voice should be given little merit compared to people with a consistent vision who then can show reasons beyond hate or partisanship for the criticism.
Obama needs to learn that it’s okay for him to have critics. Obama and his supporter don’t need to call them names, monitor their communications (including the ‘free’ press), accuse them of racism or sick the IRS and other government agencies on them. And in any case I think it’s somewhat problematic that he cares SO much about being criticized. His popularity is not the most important thing here. But when he always seems to release what was previously secret information only to gain credit it becomes quite clear where his priorities lie.
It’s one thing to have critics. It’s another thing to look at the reason for the criticism. When it is ill-founded, it is right to point it out. Just like it is fine to point out problems with Obama. Those who want to be critics should, therefore, also learn it is okay for them to have criticism as well.
And I am one who thinks criticism can be a positive good if it is aimed for such.
He wouldn’t have been criticized if the mission saved them. Except of course if it turned out that he had obtained the information used to rescue him through enhanced interrogations.
However, I agree with you that for this very reason it is irrational to condemn Obama’s decision to go this route in trying to save Foley if you also condemn Obama’s decision to negotiate with ISIS in another circumstance. However, if your expectation is that Obama would take every measure (including paying a ransom to terrorists) then he may expect backlash from that area.
Some critics are just being intellectually dishonest because they hate Obama. But it’s also that there is no decision that will please everyone which is exactly why you NEED a president to make that decision.
And that’s also why in my opinion as voters we would be much further ahead if we acted like grown-ups and started electing leaders based on a demonstration of good character rather than how much we LIKE them.
I don’t disagree with criticism, especially if someone has a foundation for their views, and keeps with it. I am of the view that no one is fully evil, and we should not treat anyone as such; we should try to find the good, acknowledge it (even if it is little) while being critical, so that we can then take what we believe is a good as a way to encourage more of it. I do this for all presidents, who generally, I find do some good and a lot I dislike.
Suppose he had paid that ransom, which was upwards of $130 million. ISIL happily goes shopping for more artillery and can pay a few thousand more gunmen. Now they’re able to slaughter all those Christians and Yazidis hiding up on the mountain before they could be airlifted. And they occupy the dam and mabye blow it for giggles, and cause six-figure casualties downstream. And they upgrade their hostage taking apparatus. Would anyone here be cutting Obama a break for trying to do the right thing down that route?
It’s a difficult decision. There is a rational basis for a general policy of not negotiating with terrorists. It’s not that Foley isn’t worth 130M, or even that 130M in the hands of terrorists is necessarily considered more harmful than taking Foley’s life, but that when we compromise on this policy it arguably endangers American lives by rendering them a lucrative target. For example, given a policy of paying ransoms it might be considered a worthwhile venture for ISIS to lose 50 men in order to capture an American. That’s the bigger problem.
Ransoms were paid to terrorists in Lebanon and Colombia and sometimes it did not work out; a priest and I believe even a bishop lost their lives in Colombia in the course of hostage negotiations. But in the long run, the wars in those countries were resolved to a great extent with many insurgents turning to peaceful pursuits. To simply refuse to negotiate with an enemy and label enemies as terrorists who must be completely destroyed is to opt for more war and bloodshed. I’m not saying there is no place for spec ops rescue missions. Those were sometimes used to good effect in Colombia, less so in Iran. But negotiating with terrorists is also sometimes needed. Yesterday’s terrorist is often today’s head of state and even Nobel Peace Prize winner.
” Yesterday’s terrorist is often today’s head of state and even Nobel Peace Prize winner.” I don’t know, but maybe that’s a problem in itself.
I’m revising my stance on this a bit. I didn’t realize that the ‘golfing’ problem was quite this bad: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2730503/Fist-bump-Furious-reactions-Obamas-5-hour-golf-game-overshadow-5-minute-ISIS-speech-teed-IMMEDIATELY-condemning-American-photojournalist-James-Foleys-executioners.html