Beheaded Journalist James Foley's Mom Pays Touching Tribute to Her Son
An American photojournalist, James Wright Foley, was reportedly beheaded at an unknown location by ISIS, an Islamist jihadist group widely regarded as a terrorist organization. He was murdered in retaliation for air strikes the U.S. made in Iraq to save civilians and diplomats in danger by ISIS. The journalist's devastated mother, Diane, posted a message on Facebook that begs ISIS to spare another journalist who is threatened to be killed next by the group and that also pays tribute to her son.
She wrote on "Free James Foley":
We have never been prouder of our son Jim. He gave his life trying to expose the world to the suffering of the Syrian people.
We implore the kidnappers to spare the lives of the remaining hostages. Like Jim, they are innocents. They have no control over American government policy in Iraq, Syria or anywhere in the world.
We thank Jim for all the joy he gave us. He was an extraordinary son, brother, journalist and person. Please respect our privacy in the days ahead as we mourn and cherish Jim.
Diane Foley is right that journalists are only trying to shed light on a terrible situation -- they are neutral parties who are dedicated to telling people's stories. Even the ISIS story. Unfortunately, terrorists do not deal in empathy or rationality. And as terrorist groups go, ISIS is considered to be one of the worst and most fanatical.
ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) has already claimed to have kidnapped hundreds of minority ethnic Yazidi women, apparently to rape them and breed out their blonde lineage. They also drove hundreds of Yazidi into the mountains, where men, women, and children huddled in starvation and terror until American forces were able to help rescue them. It's been reported that even Al-Qaeda found them too extremist to deal with.
ISIS members say their goal is to convert every person on the planet to their sick brand of Islam or pay the consequences. Their leader is a man named Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who claims he is a direct descendent of Muhammad. The U.S. has offered a $10 million reward for his death or capture.
President Obama has weighed on Foley's murder, saying:
The entire world is appalled. No just God would stand for what they did yesterday or every single day. People like this ultimately fail. They fail because the future’s won by those who build and not destroy. The world is shaped by people like Jim Foley.
A group like ISIL [another acronym by which the group is known] has no place in the 21st century. They have rampaged across cities and villages killing innocent, unarmed civilians in cowardly acts of violence. They abduct women and children and subject them to torture and rape and slavery ... ISIL has no ideology of any value to human beings.
Diane Foley eulogized her son at a news conference and called him a "fearless journalist."
During his barbaric execution, Foley bravely reads an obviously scripted diatribe against America and says he wishes he had more time with his family. I can't imagine the terror he experienced reading those words, and yet he does so with so much bravery. (There are those who doubt the video's authenticity -- as there are those who doubt pretty much anything that happens -- but the U.S. is working to authenticate it.)
The terrorist in black who beheads him sounds British, and the British government has acknowledged this. He then holds up another man, who is said to be journalist Steven Sotloff, and says that his life is in Obama's hands.
Truly, utterly tragic. May Foley's family find some small amount of peace in knowing that the world is thinking of James Foley right now.