The brutal murder of the brave American journalist James Foley is meant to directly terrorize the world’s media, the international community, and the United States. If all the actions of the Islamic State, or IS, to date weren’t sufficiently reprehensible, this act and the potential for other similar acts will snap American attention with laser-like focus onto the real danger IS poses to the existence of Iraq, the order of the region and to the homelands of Europe and America.
Make no mistake, the abomination of IS is a clear and present danger to the U.S. The only question really is whether the U.S. and its allies and partners will act decisively now while they can still shape events to destroy IS, an act that seems increasingly self-obvious.
President Barack Obama, our commander-in-chief, was right to order airstrikes on IS elements in northern Iraq. He was also right to order humanitarian relief for the Yazidis and other desperate Iraqi minority elements fleeing the onslaught of IS elements, but until the grisly death of James Foley much of the American public was only beginning to awaken to what IS is and the enormity of the threat it represents.