90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
The Bloody Extremities Of ISIS

An American is beheaded. We’ll look at the ferocity of ISIS, and what to do about it.

In this November 2012, file photo, posted on the website freejamesfoley.org, shows American journalist James Foley while covering the civil war in Aleppo, Syria. In a horrifying act of revenge for U.S. airstrikes in northern Iraq, militants with the Islamic State extremist group have beheaded Foley — and are threatening to kill another hostage, U.S. officials say. (AP)

In this November 2012, file photo, posted on the website freejamesfoley.org, shows American journalist James Foley while covering the civil war in Aleppo, Syria. In a horrifying act of revenge for U.S. airstrikes in northern Iraq, militants with the Islamic State extremist group have beheaded Foley — and are threatening to kill another hostage, U.S. officials say. (AP)

Even a glimpse of the opening shot of the video of James Foley’s beheading, well before the blood, is enough to turn the stomach.  Carefully choreographed.  The American reporter on his knees in the desert, the black-clad ISIS executioner with the jarring East London accent standing over him.  It is sickening.  So, what should be done?  Many, many more have already died at the hands of ISIS.  The president calls the group a “cancer.”  The FBI chief says “savages.” But what should actually be done?  And by whom?  This hour On Point:  dealing with ISIS.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Ali Khedery, chairman and chief executive of Dragoman Partners. Former special assistant to the US State and Defense Departments, former executive at Exxon Mobil. (@akhedery)

Joshua Landis, associate professor and director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma. (@joshua_landis)

Shashank Joshi, senior research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute. (@shashj)

From Tom’s Reading List

Boston Globe: Islamist militants execute N.H. reporter James Foley — “James Foley, a freelance war correspondent from New Hampshire, was killed at the hands of the Islamic State militant group, which distributed a video that said the apparent beheading was retaliation for recent US airstrikes in Iraq, US officials said late Tuesday. The officials told the Associated Press that they believe it is Foley in the video, bringing to a tragic end a saga that began when Foley was kidnapped in Syria in November 2012.”

New York Times: Iraq’s Last Chance — “After spending more than $1 trillion and losing some 4,500 soldiers’ lives, American politicians cannot dare reveal a dirty little secret: Iraq has since 2003 devolved into a combination of Lebanon and Nigeria — a toxic brew of sectarian politics and oil-fueled kleptocracy. ”

Christian Science Monitor: Could arming the ‘moderate’ Syrian rebels have changed history? — “Confident assertions about how the horror of the Syrian civil war could have been avoided “if only” different choices had been made in 2011 and 2012 are all the rage these days, particularly with the Islamic State’s seizure of major oil fields and cities in northern and western Iraq. In this telling, more palatable Syrian rebels would have won the war against Assad by now thanks to strong US backing. “

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Sep 23, 2014
Cindy Cook holds a photo of her mother, former Rep. Alice Cook Bassett, at her home in Calais, Vt., Tuesday, March 13, 2012. Cook took care of her mother in December when she decided to stop eating and drinking to put an end to her life. (AP)

A bipartisan report says medical care at the end of life needs a big overhaul. One bioethicist says, “After 75, no major interventions. Let me go.”

Sep 23, 2014
Levon Aronian, of Armenia, right, moves during his match against Hikaru Nakamura, of the United States, in the sixth round of the Sinquefield Cup chess tournament Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014, in St. Louis. (AP)

A young grandmaster just did the impossible at a top chess tournament. No one paid attention. Does chess still matter?

RECENT
SHOWS
Sep 22, 2014
Demonstrators make their way down Sixth Avenue in New York during the People's Climate March Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014. (AP/Jason DeCrow)

Big climate protests in New York before a big UN summit. Activist and author Naomi Klein says change the economy or die. She’s with us.

 
Sep 22, 2014
President Barack Obama gestures during a statement in the State Dining Room of the White House, on Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014, in Washington. Obama spoke after Congress voted to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels in the fight against the Islamic State group. (AP/Evan Vucci)

A tough, critical examination of US plans to take on ISIS. Strategy in the hot seat.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: September 19, 2014
Friday, Sep 19, 2014

Lots of big, contentious topics on the show this week — from Zionism to early education, corporal punishment to development in the Grand Canyon.

More »
Comment
 
Talking Through The Issue Of Corporal Punishment For Kids
Wednesday, Sep 17, 2014

On Point dove into the debate over corporal punishment on Wednesday — as Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson faces charges in Texas after he allegedly hit his four-year-old son with a switch.

More »
2 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: September 12, 2014
Friday, Sep 12, 2014

In which you had varied reactions to the prospect of a robotic spouse.

More »
Comment