The reports of the latest ISIS murder of another American journalist are both sickening and deeply disturbing. Steven Sotloff, who reported for TIME Magazine and other outlets, has apparently become the latest victim of these criminals who claim the murders of innocent journalists like Sotloff and James Foley before him are justified because of U.S. efforts to stop the terrorists with its airstrikes against them.
Despite heartfelt pleas from Sotloff’s mother—made directly to the head of ISIS—to spare her son’s life, the terrorist group made good on its threat to kill the journalist. And they are threatening to kill others.
RTDNA will not attempt to dictate U.S. foreign policy. The President and Congress face tremendously difficult challenges in dealing with this kind of terrorism. Americans are war-weary, to be sure, but there is no question that a growing number (67% by one poll) see groups like ISIS as posing the greatest threat of all to our country’s safety and security.
Some may argue that the instantaneous nature of today’s tools like social media give these thugs a global platform they wouldn’t have had only a few years ago. While that’s true, it’s also possible that the global publicity provided by Twitter and the internet may backfire on them and drain away support they might otherwise have had due to the horrific nature of these crimes.
Either way, it won’t bring back the lives of these two dedicated journalists who wanted to do no more than to document the atrocities occurring in that part of the world so that Americans would have a better idea of how dangerous and tragic the region had become. We honor Steven Sotloff and James Foley for sacrificing their lives for that cause. And we hope we can soon reach a point where barbaric, senseless killings like these will become a part of a very ugly history—and no longer a news headline.