I always find it interesting that when you talk about Christianity and Islam, the cultural relativists hearken back to the Spanish Inquisition, Crusades, or other state-sponsored actions in history. We don’t believe in state established religion in Western civilization for those exact purposes. Also, many fail to remember that Pope Urban II called for the original “Crusade” because Christian pilgrims were being attacked in the Holy Land. Regardless, it’s funny how the jihadist apologists have to go back in history — while Islam continues its cycle of violence to this day.
And so we learned yesterday of yet another Westerner being beheaded. As reported by The Daily Caller, “ISIS released yet another video on Friday apparently showing the beheading of a British aid worker, Alan Henning, according to the Associated Press. Henning was kidnapped in December 2013 while in Syria with an aid group bringing food and water to the nation’s many refugees. He was abducted by masked gunman the day after Christmas, according to other volunteers. The video’s authenticity hasn’t yet been verified, but it is similar to previous beheading videos from the group. Like in previous videos, the masked jihadi blamed Western forces fighting ISIS for the execution. “The blood of David Haines is on your hands, Cameron,” he said. “Alan Henning will also be slaughtered but his blood is on the hands of the British Parliament.”
So much for “degrading” ISIS. We continue to dismiss who this enemy is and its objectives — which is clearly articulated in word and deed. I found it quite perplexing when U.S. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki stated on “The Kelly File” on Fox News that not leaving a residual force in Iraq has nothing to do with the emergence of ISIS — where do they find these people?
And it seems the blood lust of ISIS — the operative distinction being Islamic — will not stop. The Daily Caller writes, “at the end of the minute-long video, titled “Another Message to America and Its Allies,” the jihadi threatened to behead another American hostage, Peter Kassig. Kassig is a former Army Ranger and was in Syria as an aid worker when he was kidnapped by Islamist forces. “Obama, you have started your air of bombardment in sham, which keeps on striking our people so it’s only right that we continue to strike the next of your people,” the executioner said.”
Mr. Henning was killed by the same British-accented militant who also beheaded American reporters James Foley and Steven Sotloff, as well as British aid worker David Haines. At some point we need to gather an assessment of how many Western hostages ISIS is holding. We should initiate a complete evacuation of any Western aid workers from the sphere of influence of ISIS forces. We don’t need to have any Western journalists who are operating as freelance without force protection.
I did read that the Turkish Parliament voted to enter into the combat fray and allow U.S. airplanes to utilize bases there. However, I also have to ask at what cost does this occur? Did Turkish leader Erdogan demand the U.S. not arm the Kurdish Peshmerga Army in return for support? We all know the Turks fear a strong Kurdish presence. We must also be wary of the Obama administration giving concessions to Iran on its nuclear development program in exchange for promises of the Ayatollah regime to take action against ISIS. We cannot pursue a policy of outsourcing this problem to others — they may be a part of our effort, but we must lead.
The biggest issue is that we can no longer afford to define this enemy in a way that makes us comfortable. This is a defining moment for the West against Islamo-fascism and jihadism. Failure is not an option. My sincere condolences to the family of Alan Henning and to the British people.