Kayla Jean Mueller, a 26-year-old humanitarian who was taken captive in Syria by Islamic terrorists in August 2013, is dead. We don’t know exactly how she died. The Islamic State, which had been holding her for the past 18 months, claims she was killed in a Jordanian air strike. U.S. and Jordanian officials doubt this, but cannot say for certain how she was killed or when or where she died.
Kayla is the fourth American to die while in the hands of the Islamic State, but she was their only female captive. Three American men — journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and aid worker Peter Kassig — were beheaded by the group, which released videos of the atrocities. As if that weren’t bad enough, in their latest execution these Islamic butchers burned alive a captured Jordanian pilot.
President Obama said that Mueller “epitomized all that is good in our world” and vowed to retaliate against those responsible for her death. “No matter how long it takes,” he promised, “the United States will find and bring to justice the terrorists who are responsible for Kayla’s captivity and death.”
Tough words. I’d like to think he believes them and will actually do what he says. But the record says otherwise.
At the same time we learned of Mueller’s death, Obama had some very strange things to say during an interview on Monday by the media outlet Vox. First, he referred to the terrorist shooting at a kosher grocery store in France last month as “people randomly shoot a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris.”
No, Mr. President, there was nothing “random” about that assault. The terrorists left written statements that they deliberately set out to murder Jews. They knew that what you described as a “deli” was in fact a kosher store. The murderers could be pretty sure of finding Jews inside.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest faced a barrage of questions about the president’s curious phraseology when he faced reporters the next day. While at first Earnest refused to qualify Obama’s remarks, he later sent out a tweet acknowledging that the attack was aimed at Jews. “Terror attack at Paris Kosher market was motivated by anti-Semitism,” he wrote. “POTUS (the President of the United States) didn’t intend to suggest otherwise.”
But Obama’s “random” comment wasn’t nearly as startling as what came next in that Vox interview. Matthew Yglesias asked: “Do you think the media sometimes overstates the level of alarm people should have about terrorism and this kind of chaos, as opposed to a longer-term problem of climate change and epidemic disease?” The president answered emphatically: “Absolutely.”
Got that? Obama believes climate change is a bigger threat to this country than Islamic terrorism. He said it’s all a matter of ratings on local television. “What’s the famous saying about local newscasts, right? If it bleeds, it leads, right? You show crime shows and you show fires, because that’s what people watch, and it’s all about ratings.”
No wonder the administration insisted on calling the mass murders at Fort Hood, Texas, a case of “workplace violence,” when it was obvious that the perpetrator was an Islamic extremist. Nidal Malik Hasan killed 13 people and injured 30 others before he was brought down.
But forget about that, the bombing at the Boston Marathon, the beheadings of three Americans by ISIS and all of the other murders and rapes committed by Islamic terrorists — most of them against their fellow Muslims.
Even while tens of thousands of people die in the Middle East and hundreds more in Africa, Obama insists that climate change is really the most serious “existential” threat we face.
Is it any wonder that he refuses to even utter the words “Islamic terrorism?” Or says he wants to “lead from behind” in any effort to confront these murderous extremists?
How many more innocent people will die at the hands of Islamic terrorists before they are stopped? We can’t know the answer, but it looks like it will be a bunch. For sure, it won’t happen until we get new leadership in the White House.
Until then, it looks like it will be a gruesome and bloody two years.
Until next time, keep some powder dry.