A second journalist has now been killed by the kidnappers of the so-called Islamic State. We hope that amid the delusional barbarics indulged by the killers, there is an appreciation that the arm of justice is long.
Justice will probably also have to be patient. Our ability to rescue hostages is limited, although the United States military will obviously try. Yet one day, as the governments of the United States and its allies promised this week, justice will be done.
We agree with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry that the latest video of the killing of journalist Steven Sotloff is another example of the “unfathomable brutality” of the militants who disgrace the good name of Islam.
The video of Sotloff’s execution is similar to one released two weeks ago showing journalist James Foley’s killing.
Regrettably, the killers have another hostage, a citizen of Great Britain.
In these cases, President Barack Obama surely spoke for all Americans when he committed the U.S. government to turning back this latest Middle East horror visited on our citizens.
“Those who make the mistake of harming Americans will learn that we will not forget ... that our reach is long and that justice will be served,” the president said.
A poorly worded remark by the president that there is no strategy against the Islamic State has been widely criticized, but the fact is that there is no single strategy that is called for. The killers are enemies of Iraq but also Kurdistan; they operate in Syria, where hostages are taken. The response of the United States is apt to be a series of different strategies, including diplomatic efforts but also rescue attempts of hostages if at all possible, and action with allies in the region.
Whatever it takes, these killings will one day be avenged.