CHARLOTTE, N.C., February 4, 2015 — In light of White House efforts to deny any problem with Islamic extremism, Fox resorted to showing a terrifying frame of a Jordanian pilot surrounded by flames during his graphic execution at the hands of ISIS.
Pictures of a human torch are horrific and disturbing, as are pictures of the aftermath of a beheading. Some analysts are calling the Islamic State’s latest taunt at civilization a “game changer,” but they said that about the attack at Charlie Hebdo, too. Nothing happened in France, either, except for a symbolic march through the streets of Paris.
Which means the jury is still out on the efforts by Fox to arouse the American people into action.
Meanwhile, media outlets were drooling over the prospect that King Abdullah II of Jordan was meeting with President Obama at the White House shortly after the news broke about the Jordanian pilot’s assassination.
Obama offered “his deepest condolences” before describing to the king how he missed a 5-foot putt in his last round of golf.
Obama promised to get to the bottom of the ISIS execution(s), announcing the U.S. will “redouble” its efforts against the Islamic State. Translation: We will do nothing, because doubling nothing is still doing nothing.
Throughout the evening on Tuesday, the news focused upon Jordan’s announcement to retaliate against ISIS by killing al-Qaeda prisoners. Shortly after 10 o’clock, the revenge executions were reported.
Amid all the condemnation, commentators opined that the Islamic State had finally gone too far by bringing Jordan into the Middle Eastern crisis. Muslim against Muslim. Surely this would be the beginning of the end?
Combined with cries for Islamic reform by Egypt’s President Abdel el-Sisi and a coalition made up of other Muslim nations to fight terrorism from within, commentators were certain that ISIS could be defeated.
What analysts don’t understand is that the armies that are being marshaled against ISIS are woefully inept. The Islamic State’s fighting machine is stronger and more dedicated to their cause than those who dare to challenge them.
Calling the Saudis to action is like asking a little leaguer to pitch against the New York Yankees. Not only are the Saudis the weakest country in the region, they are also the most cowardly.
Were it not for the riches of oil, Saudis would still be holding camel races and building sand castles in the desert.
Indeed it is true that the problems with Islam must be solved through some sort of enlightenment within the religion. But military might must come from the outside, where weaponry and manpower are sufficient to hit ISIS with superior force.
When Iraq invaded Kuwait, Saudi Arabia rejected a proposal from Osama bin Laden to protect the Saudis from an Iraqi invasion. The Saudis turned to the United States instead, believing Western military strength was a better guarantee of security.
So upset was bin Laden by the rebuke from his own country and that “infidels” would become the hired guns who would protect Saudi Arabia, that he turned to plotting what eventually became 9/11/01.
The best thing the Muslim world can do to combat Islamic terrorism in their own backyard is provide precious insights into the way the Arab world thinks. The West clearly does not understand Islam. As such, the greatest contribution that true reformers can make is to offer the West the necessary information they need to develop proper military strategies to combat the cancer.
Islamic conflict is and has been tribal since its inception. Muslims killing Muslims is nothing new. Muslims killing true infidels is preferred, but there is no reluctance by Islamists to take on their own when their fellow Muslims are not, in their eyes, true believers.r
Will the latest horror story from the Middle East turn the tide and become a catalyst for reform? Will it actually be the so-called “game changer” everyone is hoping for?
Possibly, but until world leaders, especially the current occupant of the White House get serious about the problem and stop their political gamesmanship, it is wiser to be skeptical.
Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe.
Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com) Read more of What in the World and Bob Taylor at Communities Digital News. Follow Bob on Twitter @MrPeabod