The brutal Islamic State has struck again, posting a video on social media last Sunday showing the massbeheadings of about a dozen men identified as Syrian military officers along with the slaughter of 26-year-old American aid worker Peter Kassig whose bloody head was seen at the feet of his masked andblack-clad killer.
In all, that makes five Western hostages including three Americans who have died at the hands of theterrorist group which has killed thousands of people in mass executions as part of its campaign to createan Islamic state across Sunni areas of Iraq and Syria.
President Obama called the latest execution of the American hostage an act of “pure evil” by theterrorist group and in offering his condolences to Kassig’s family he referred to him by his Muslim name,Abdul-Rachman Kassig, as a message that ISIS had killed one of its own.
So where does America go from here and how many more murders will ISIS broadcast on social media todemonstrate their hatred for the West and America in particular for the U. S.-led air campaign againstthe most brutal of all the terrorist groups that inhabit the region?
No one can be sure, but it appears the Pentagon is about ready to push for more boots on the ground inthe battle against the Islamic State militants if America is to be successful in putting an end to theirbloody campaign to take control of Iraq and Syria and eliminate whole tribes which don’t subscribe totheir religious beliefs.
Unfortunately, here at home the political war being waged by the political enemies of President Obama areanything but helpful on the world stage for a president who wanted to end the Middle East militaryexcursions that have cost the country trillions of dollars and thousands of dead and wounded Americanwarriors for a cause that seems pretty hopeless at this point.
Obama’s enemies have blamed him for just about everything you can think of, including the growth of ISIS,Ebola, health care problems, the VA scandals, and yet when you look past the attacks, the country’seconomy is robust, the forecast is bright, and the dollar is holding close to a four-year high.
The GOP rode into power on Election Day largely on the doom and gloom broadcast almost daily on right-leaning television and radio broadcasts that often create negative news on the Ebola or the Middle Eastwhen the facts supporting the negative spin are often shaky at best. And despite the non-stop attacks,the country seems to be doing pretty good with the top auto dealer group predicting new vehicle salesnext year close to the 17 million, citing the improving economy. But that economic growth has not dulledthe attacks on Obama.
Political battles are nothing new, but the harsh reality is that with all of the GOP chest pounding andhard-edged attacks on the U. S. presidency comes a government that simply doesn’t function for the goodof nation on many issues. The terrible atrocities being carried out by the Islamic State should helpunite America against this terrible evil, but our leaders are more interested in the political landscapefor 2016 than brutality being waged by the jihadist terrorist group. Never mind the country’s improvingeconomy. Obama is to blame for, well, you name it.
But let’s temporarily put the political attacks aside and ask can America’s political enemies find timeto come together to deal with a threat that seems to be coming closer to home every time we see anotherof these terrible beheadings being carried out--not in a movie-- but in real life in a bleak desert?
It seems unlikely, and with Republicans brimming with confidence after taking control of Congress, thereis little likelihood of any compromise that might produce legislation that would be good for all thepeople. And you can fully expect Obama will not give in easily to the Republican agenda which, for themost part, is to dismantle every program the twice-elected president has tried to establish withoutoffering any meaningful alternatives to such things as health care and immigration reform.
It looks like two more years of gridlock and more beheadings from ISIS as the American politicalestablishment is more interested in winning the White House than winning the war against evil.
Hopefully, from somewhere, will spring a leader who can offer more than we are seeing in Washington thesedays, and I don’t mean a radical from either political extreme but someone who has the country’s bestinterest at heart, not his or her political party. Americans are losing their heads trying to ease thepain ISIS is causing, and it is time we honored their sacrifice by showing the world we are a countryunited once again.