Tom Rogan has very bravely done something I lack the courage to do: He watched the ISIS video of James Foley’s execution. (The video actually skips the complete execution, by going directly from the moment they begin sawing off Foley’s head to the moment when they place his head on the back of his body. Still, it’s a snuff video and I am weak.) Watching that video, Rogan reached a conclusion about Foley, which was that he was an unusually courageous man:
Americans who want to see the gruesome video will see the courage of James Foley. They’ll bear witness to a man who, knowing he was about suffer a terrible fate, kept his voice firm in his final moments.
His death won’t be broadcast many places, but take my word for his final courage. As the terrorist moves his knife downwards, Foley grimaces but does not cry out. This, after all, is the man that he was, a man who faced great danger to bring knowledge to the world. After being imprisoned by Qaddafi loyalists for 44 days during the Libyan civil war, Foley returned to the country to finish his reporting. When asked why he did so, Foley offered a simple answer. “Why wouldn’t I go back? People had done so much for me back home. I was humbled, I felt indebted to them. [We] wanted to connect the dots; we wanted to finish that story.”
Read the entire homage here.
Foley’s death deserves more than the bland, meaningless ritualism Obama will offer. Sadly, though, I’m pretty darn certain that Foley will be just another in a long list of Americans that Obama has apparently willingly sacrificed on the Islamist altar, including an American ambassador.
(As an aside, to the extent the executioner is believed to be a former Gitmo detainee, is there meaning to the fact that Foley was clothed in orange, the color prisoners in Gitmo wear?)