Although he was killed by Islamic State militants, Jim’s quest to chronicle modern war lives on through his selfless journalism.
James Foley was murdered by Islamic State forces this week.
I worked at GlobalPost. It was after Foley had been abducted near the Syrian border, but they spoke about him. They were trying to rescue him, get him out. Since 2012.
So far the White House has said they tried to rescue him once this summer and failed. They didn’t want to pay the ransom requested by ISIL for semi-obvious reasons. As a result, he was beheaded on camera, since the US didn’t pay or stop the airstrikes in Iraq.
Now, I think I can assertively say I understand how complicated this situation is. But what I don’t understand is why we can track down terrorists who are embedded in extreme security, but we cannot save our own journalists, as a country. Because this stuff happens—and it happens a lot. Every year.
I don’t understand why killing a journalist abroad isn’t an international war crime.
I don’t undertand why the same care isn’t taking with rescuing journalists as it is with military personel or diplomats, because although journalism is different, it’s just as important a service to our country.
I don’t think people understand what foreign correspondents are risking when they go abroad to tell stories from conflict zones. Yes, it’s a risk they chose, but it’s selfless. You don’t succeed at foreign correspondence because you “want to make a name for yourself” or “see the world,” or whatever.
You succeed at foreign correspondence by using your pen or camera to give voice to the people who live there. You assume the risks those people live in every day in order to let them be heard.
And you know, going in, that your own country will probably not help you if shit gets bad. And that’s fucked up.
America failed Foley, they failed his family, and they failed journalists. It is so deeply disturbing, to me personally, and I’m sure to many other people in the field. And I just wish I could say it was more surprising.
The least we can do, now, is read and see his work.