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A lot of people are not going to like this cartoon.  That’s OK.  Honestly I don’t like it that much either.  I didn’t want to ignore this story and knew I couldn’t draw a cartoon on it with my usual humorous take.

I’ve been threatened before.  I’ve had letters, emails and blog comments threatening to beat me up, slash my tires, kill my dog and kill me.  I had a member of the Nation Of Islam write my editor to tell me God was going to take me out soon.  When I was a photographer I once had a state trooper in Mississippi threaten to arrest me for taking photos at crash site.  Usually I’m working from the safety of a drawing board and most threats for a cartoonist are laughed off.  

This week I’ve drawn two cartoons on journalists facing threats while doing their job.  I’ve actually drawn two in a row.  From the safety of a drawing board I can’t imagine the Hell and fear journalist James Foley went through…as well as others.

I know it’s another culture.  They don’t understand the way of life in the West.  But ISIS surely knows terror won’t sway U.S. policy.  Killing Foley will incite more action from the U.S. military.  Since they know that then killing Foley isn’t a strategic option…it’s just sheer brutality.

Please visit my site, Claytoonz, for more.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Great symbolism. (13+ / 0-)

    James Storey RIP

     These Are the Stories James Foley Risked His Life to Tell
    The accomplished war reporter went deep into conflict zones and brought back stories to people who would not have otherwise heard them.

    Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

    by divineorder on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 03:18:01 AM PDT

  •  Looks like ISIS just counter-signed their own... (8+ / 0-)

    ...bombing orders.

    "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

    by leftykook on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 04:33:28 AM PDT

    •  whatever good that does; After all, the US (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Schneewolfe, divineorder, caryltoo

      roasted Saddam's forces as they fled Kuwait in Desert Storm but the same air force could not locate Saddam's mobile SCUD launchers so the ability of air power alone to effect much damage on a mobile enemy is somewhat in question.

      Many years ago, I observed that most people do not enjoy combat.  They follow orders and do their jobs but come away from the experience disliking the whole experience.  Then there are a few who actually enjoy the danger, the chaos and the adrenaline rush.  Killing people becomes as significant to them as killing a bug.  Some of the ISIS people are professional jihadists, it seems, moving from combat theater to combat theater throughout the old USSR, Africa, ME and SE Asia among other locations.

      Constant combat brutalizes the combatants and make it easier for them to brutalize others.  We are seeing some problems with PTSD among our own vets who have pulled multiple tours in fire zones in which some vets (but not even a majority but still a significant number) either take their own lives or else act out the stresses from the PTSD.  With some of the jihadists, who were child soldiers and from there have fought on a dozen fronts, I would predict we have not even begun to see what these troops are capable of.

      I have always advocated for diplomacy over military action but in this single case, if the reports are correct, ISIS may be the extreme extreme among the jihadist groups that various players have helped to birth throughout the region and whose leaders are absolutely incapable of compromise or diplomacy.  (Sorry if this is a bit rambling  and incoherent but I am still formulating my thoughts on the situation and these new developments)

    •  The next time we attack (6+ / 0-)

      Islamic terrorist leaders with drone attacks, we should see at least 20% fewer posts here decrying American imperialism or warmongering. Unfortunately, the only way to stop people who believe in a Heaven only open to murderers of innocents is to murder them first. I am proud to call myself a liberal and a lifelong Democrat and I am perfectly happy having my tax dollars spent on bombs targeting these monsters.

  •  No one expects the Spanish Inquisition: M. Python (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mosesfreeman, eagleray

    These acts are the logical conclusion of giving religion leadership roles in government. Same as it's always been.

    Life is just a bowl of Cherries, that stain your hands and clothes and have pits that break your teeth.

    by OHdog on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 04:35:06 AM PDT

  •  "Killing Foley will incite more action..." (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Egalitare, angry marmot, divineorder

    And that may be the whole idea.  They're not ignorant of Western thinking, they're counting on it.  Because American military action against Muslim nations is the best recruiting tool Islamic militants have.

    •  bin Laden certainly had our number as a nation (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      profundo

      and as to the quality of leadership at the helm at that juncture.

    •  I think it is clear by now that (7+ / 0-)

      US action in the region is not the primary driver of the barbarity of these groups. They believe in eternal jihad against the heretics, with virtually everyone on the planet a heretic. They behead their enemies, they stone to death their own daughters if they are caught eyeing men or showing their faces. This is an enemy different than any other civilization has recently faced. We really have little choice but to continue fighting these madmen.

      •  Without U.S. interventionism . . . (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Major Kong, schumann, caryltoo

        we would not have had the Ayatollah in Iran, the Taliban in Afghanistan and ISIS in Iraq.  There is a direct relationship in each case.

        "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

        by Paleo on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 06:19:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Without US intervention, the world (0+ / 0-)

          would have gone on, and there would certainly be Islamic terrorists, maybe worse, maybe better. This idea thought that if it weren't for the US that there would not be murderers in the name of Allah roaming the Middle East is just silliness.

          •  You totally ignore the cause and effect (0+ / 0-)

            in each example I cited.  I never said the absence of U.S., intervention would have eliminating all killing in the name of religion.

            "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

            by Paleo on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 09:26:00 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Chicken or egg... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mosesfreeman

        There are a number of interrelated "drivers" for IS / Da'ish. Given that they themselves cite US/European/foreign actions in MENA (historical and contemporary) as rationale for their actions, it seems pointless to dismiss that. Their vision of a transnational caliphate is conditioned as much by the notion of resistance to Western domination of and meddling in MENA as it is by the perceived historical "surrender" of insufficiently Islamic institutions (governments and religious jurisprudence) to Western domination. IS thus pits themselves not only against the notional West (an external driver) but also against the very form of the nation-states in MENA (a quasi-internal driver) and the political and religious leaders of those states (an internal driver).

        IS' fanatical neo-Khawarijite application of takfir ("who are those that must be either driven out of the existing community or put to the sword in order to purify the community?"), dressed in the deliberately shocking public-relations of modern terrorism, is at the root of their undeniable viciousness.

        Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

        by angry marmot on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 07:08:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Yours is the only diary I see about this atrocity. (12+ / 0-)

    We need to be talking about this too.

    RIP James Foley.

    A message from Jim's mom, Diane Foley:
    We have never been prouder of our son Jim. He gave his life trying to expose the world to the suffering of the Syrian people.
    We implore the kidnappers to spare the lives of the remaining hostages. Like Jim, they are innocents. They have no control over American government policy in Iraq, Syria or anywhere in the world.
    We thank Jim for all the joy he gave us. He was an extraordinary son, brother, journalist and person. Please respect our privacy in the days ahead as we mourn and cherish Jim.
    You can share condolences on his family's facebook page.

    https://www.facebook.com/...

    It is ridiculous to pretend that firing teachers based on student test scores, starting charter schools, giving out vouchers or implementing merit pay will overcome the challenges facing a child living in poverty. -Jersey Jazzman

    by Desert Rose on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 05:34:25 AM PDT

  •  ISIS is doing a lot of very bad things (5+ / 0-)

    including crucifying people (supposedly after they are executed) and numerous beheadings of captured Syrian soldiers, civilians, and rival militia members.  OTOH combat journalists have been increasingly in harm's way since 9/11 as well due to a variety of circumstances: http://blogs.cfr.org/...

    I note two more journalists have died in Somalia, one also by beheading: http://www.mynews4.com/... so this may be the beginning of a trend among Islamic jihadists or the resumption of a trend.

    I also note that several states continue to use beheading as their preferred method for capital punishment, most notably, Saudi Arabia:
    http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/...
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/...
    http://www.foxnews.com/...
    http://gulfnews.com/...
    http://gulfnews.com/...
    http://www.arabianbusiness.com/...

    I just note that Saudi Arabia routinely uses crucifixion and decapitation to execute people, so perhaps it is not surprising that ISIS would use the same methods.  The question is the motive behind ISIS' actions, to intimidate the West? To intimidate journalists?  To intimidate locals or is it that they wish to do all 3 but really require neither to motivate them  

    •  Another reason to dislike religion. n/t (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kharma, caryltoo

      It is ridiculous to pretend that firing teachers based on student test scores, starting charter schools, giving out vouchers or implementing merit pay will overcome the challenges facing a child living in poverty. -Jersey Jazzman

      by Desert Rose on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 05:45:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The motive of the killing is to kill. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Radiowalla, caryltoo
      The question is the motive behind ISIS' actions, to intimidate the West? To intimidate journalists?  To intimidate locals or is it that they wish to do all 3 but really require neither to motivate them  
      ISIS kills as a matter of extermination.  They don't want, for example, a town of cowed, intimidated Yazidis.   They don't want a town of Yazidis of any kind.  

      Someone actually admitted on DK, "Yes. If it pisses you and the other Greenwald-Tweet-pearl-clutchers off, it's smart." Wow. Just....wow.

      by Inland on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 07:12:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But beheading is so inefficient (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kharma, schumann, phenry

        there are so many other ways to wipe out large populations in the least amount of time.

        Using a beheading sword and the act of decapitation itself is theater.  The question is the purpose of the theater

        •  Maybe it's a two fer, including the theater. (0+ / 0-)

          He would have been killed anyway, do it on TV with some braggadocio.  

          Someone actually admitted on DK, "Yes. If it pisses you and the other Greenwald-Tweet-pearl-clutchers off, it's smart." Wow. Just....wow.

          by Inland on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 07:31:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Indeed (0+ / 0-)

          MK82s and Cluster bombs are so much more efficient at beheading (and be-arming and be-legging and be-torsoing).

          Jeez, do I have to teach these people everything?

          If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

          by Major Kong on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 08:06:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  All of the above (0+ / 0-)

      although mostly the latter. They need the support of the locals in areas that they control. By publicly killing foreigners, they instill fear and obedience in the locals, without alienating them as much as killing a local would... not that they are averse to that if they deem it necessary.

      The videos are bravado meant to taunt the west. They figure that further western intervention will help them ultimately, but that plan is back-firing. The ground troops tearing them to shreds as we speak are anything but western.

      … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

      by mosesfreeman on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 08:35:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  And let's make sure that ISIS members (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Proteus7

    and supporters living in the west are deported.  Here they are in a rally at the Hague two weeks ago:

    https://www.youtube.com/...

  •  I know it's not popular here (8+ / 0-)

    to call one side of a struggle good and the other bad, that almost always both sides have both good and bad sides. But with Islamic State, al Qaeda, and the rest of the jihadists, all they bring to the table is evil. And despite our foibles and shortcomings, we (the West) wear the white hat in this struggle. We represent religious tolerance, progress, and respect for minority rights (including the equality of women). ISIS represents murder and depravity, intolerance, barbarism, and death.

  •  The Mullahs -the Taliban - Al Qaeda - ISIS (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Egalitare, InAntalya

    Each one more fanatical and brutal than the other.  But they would not be possible without colonialism and U.S. interventionism.  

    "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

    by Paleo on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 06:17:02 AM PDT

    •  and the current US bombing in Iraq is a (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      poco

      great recruitment tool for IS(ISIS).

      The world is bad enough as it is, you have no right to make it any worse.
      Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

      by InAntalya on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 06:32:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But that doesn't mean there isn't a problem (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Gary Norton

        That needs to be responded to in the short term. (As you've said in many of your other postings.)

      •  You and I differ on that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Gary Norton

        It's worth the risk in terms of lives saved and military momentum stopped.

        "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

        by Paleo on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 06:42:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  No, it's not. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Gary Norton

        This is a group that finds the very existence of everyone but sunni muslims intolerable; that not only justifies the bombing, but makes sure that there's no minds going to be CHANGED by it.

        Someone actually admitted on DK, "Yes. If it pisses you and the other Greenwald-Tweet-pearl-clutchers off, it's smart." Wow. Just....wow.

        by Inland on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 07:17:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Let them recruit (0+ / 0-)

        we'll get all the jihadis clustered, then KA-BOOM!

        Between US airstrikes and the fact that most of the forces arrayed against ISIS aren't taking any prisoners, this problem will be exterminated soon enough, inshAllah.

        Heck even the Pope supports killing ISIS.

        … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

        by mosesfreeman on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 08:21:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  There is a belief in parts of the Muslim world (0+ / 0-)

    (and elsewhere) that America will not tolerate its citizens--military or civilian--being put at risk. They see "no boots on the ground" as the epitome of that reluctance.

    From this, they draw the corollary that if they threaten Americans, we will back down. Perhaps they haven't read the fine print.

  •  I don't know about that (0+ / 0-)
    I know it’s another culture.  They don’t understand the way of life in the West.
    The executioner spoke with a British accent. I think they know all about life in the West and anyway ignorance is no excuse for murder.
    The Middle East's worst problem is not America, its Islam.

    Happy just to be alive

    by exlrrp on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 07:49:21 AM PDT

    •  Bashing Islam as a whole (0+ / 0-)

      isn't helpful. Most of those fighting (and dying) against ISIS are Muslims.

      … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

      by mosesfreeman on Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 08:24:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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