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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. “

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