Obama: IS 'Has No Ideology of Human Value'
US President Barack Obama released a statement about murdered US journalist Jim Foley on Wednesday, one day after Islamic State (formerly Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIS) released shocking footage of his decapitation.
"Today, the entire world is appalled by the brutal murder of Jim Foley by the terrorist group, ISIS," Obama began.
The President than eulogized Foley.
"Jim was a journalist, a son, a brother, and a friend," Obama stated. "He reported from difficult and dangerous places, bearing witness to the lives of people a world away. He was taken hostage nearly two years ago in Syria, and he was courageously reporting at the time on the conflict there."
"Jim was taken from us in an act of violence that shocks the conscience of the entire world," he continued. "He was 40 years old - one of five siblings, the son of a mom and dad who worked tirelessly for his release. Earlier today, I spoke to the Foleys and told them that we are all heartbroken at their loss, and join them in honoring Jim and all that he did."
Obama then turned to the subject of IS itself. Over the past day, the terror group threatened to not only 'drown Americans in blood,' but also to kill another journalist, Steven Sotloff.
The Sunni Muslim group follows Al-Qaeda's hard-line ideology, but is not affiliated with Al-Qaeda which has renounced ISIS.
It seeks to re-create a medieval-style caliphate erasing borders from the Mediterranean to the Gulf. It deems Shiite Muslims to be heretics deserving death and has committed genocide against a number of ethnic minorities in Syria and Iraq, including Bedouin and ethnic Yazidi.
"Jim Foley’s life stands in stark contrast to his killers," the President said. "Let’s be clear about ISIS. They have rampaged across cities and villages - killing innocent, unarmed civilians in cowardly acts of violence."
"They abduct women and children, and subject them to torture and rape and slavery. They have murdered Muslims - both Sunni and Shia - by the thousands," he continued. "They target Christians and religious minorities, driving them from their homes, murdering them when they can for no other reason than they practice a different religion. They declared their ambition to commit genocide against an ancient people."
"ISIS speaks for no religion," Obama insisted. "Their victims are overwhelmingly Muslim, and no faith teaches people to massacre innocents. No just God would stand for what they did yesterday, and for what they do every single day."
"ISIS has no ideology of any value to human beings," he continued. "Their ideology is bankrupt. They may claim out of expediency that they are at war with the United States or the West, but the fact is they terrorize their neighbors and offer them nothing but an endless slavery to their empty vision, and the collapse of any definition of civilized behavior."
IS's genocide sparked so much concern that the US recently launched a number of airstrikes against the terror organization, sparking fears of a full-fledged ground offensive into Iraq.
Despite IS's reign of terror, Obama insisted that Western ideals will ultimately win against Islamism.
"People like this ultimately fail," he said. "They fail, because the future is won by those who build and not destroy and the world is shaped by people like Jim Foley, and the overwhelming majority of humanity who are appalled by those who killed him."
The President also stated that the US will continue airstrikes - despite the threats against it and against the life of Steven Sotloff.
"We will be vigilant and we will be relentless," Obama said, insisting that "when people harm Americans, anywhere, we do what’s necessary to see that justice is done."
It is worth noting that the President's determination to protect all Americans - specifically in Iraq and Syria - apparently did not extend to US-Israeli teen Naftali Frenkel, 16, who was abducted and murdered with two other teens by Hamas terrorists on June 12; Obama only commented on the teens after their bodies were found.