For John, BLUF: I like "no boots on the ground", but this is an important fight we are fighting against ISIL. Nothing to see here; just move along.
Out of Florence, Alabama, we have this article by Reporter Lara Jakes, published in the TimesDaily—"US: Militants use beheadings to make up for losses". Here is the thrust of the argument:
WASHINGTON (AP) — For months, Islamic State militants rampaged across Syria and Iraq, seizing cities, taking hostages and terrorizing all who dared to confront them.The article includes a graphic showing the timeline discussed in the article.
The tide began to turn in mid-August, when U.S. airstrikes pushed them from key Iraqi battlegrounds. Then, on Aug. 19, the group released a video that showed the beheading of American freelance journalist James Foley.
The pattern continued.
Within days of a military defeat, the group would release images of more beheadings — at least nine over six weeks — of Western journalists, aid workers and Muslim soldiers.
This argument that the beheadings are a sign of weakness on the part of ISIL is plausible. But, as the end of the story says, increased success against ISIL, with Western assistance, means more beheadings, until ISIL is put down and ISIL prisoners set free.
One thing to keep in mind. ISIL is not a terrorist organization. It is an insurgency that uses terror to achieve its goals. It wants to be as big as the Caliphate was back in the 1400s, stretching from Spain and Portugal in the West to India and Indonesia in the East. It wants to be a Government and a Religious Faith. With an ISIL Caliphate, even if you are an Atheist, it will probably be easiest to go through the motions of religion. ISIL is a bad thing for civilization. And, it is bad for Islam. It is an extremists distortion of Islam. It must be stopped.
Regards — Cliff