(Amman, Jordan — February 3, 2015) – Everyone knows that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) (also known as “Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)” and “Islamic State (IS)” and “Daesh” and “Al-Qaeda in Iraq”) is an especially cruel and hateful Islamic Fundamentalist group. Today, they went overboard – even for them.
For almost a year, the group has conquered large swaths of territory on the Middle East. It has kidnapped and beheaded hostages, making videos of the grisly crimes. Just last weekend, they beheaded a Japanese journalist. And now, it seems, they’ve upped the ante with regard to methods of torture and cruelty.
ISIS captured Jordanian pilot Lieutenant Muath al-Kaseasbeh in December. Today, the group released a video of al-Kaseasbeh being burned alive, bringing swift, worldwide condemnation.
“President Obama deplores this barbaric act of murder and cruelty in the strongest possible terms,” said a White House spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity. “He condemns the act of murder and cruelty in terms stronger than usual. You might say he condemns the act of murder and cruelty in the most strongly strongest possible terms.
“He is consulting with his cabinet members and military advisors because he has decided that there will be consequences. At this time, we have absolutely no idea what the consequences might be, but there will be consequences. And that’s consequential.”
Obama has issued similar threats before – with little or no success:
- July 17, 2014 – Malaysian Airlines MH17 is shot down over the Ukrainian village of Torez, with a surface-to-air missile. The Boeing 777-200 carried 15 crew members and 280 passengers – including 23 Americans.
- February 28, 2014 – Russian President Vladimir Putin continues Russia’s advances into Ukraine.
- February 24, 2014 – Uganda signs anti-gay legislation into law, just two months after Nigeria signs similar legislation.
ISIS had demanded the release of a female suicide bomber in Jordanian custody in order – and sentenced to death – to secure al-Kaseasbeh’s release. Jordan was in negotations with ISIS when the video became public.
“This shows that negotiations with terrorists simply don’t work,” said a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), speaking on condition of anonymity. “We hope that President Obama will realize this and refuse any attempts at negotations in the future.”
Republican critics seized on this latest admonishment of Obama.
“It’s fine to say ‘don’t negotiate’ when Republican hero Ronald Reagan (R-CA) set the precedent by trading arms for hostages with Iran,” said a political scientist, speaking on condition of anonymity. “It’s too bad politicians have such short memories.”