i am 63 years old i live in nc i lost my nephew to these animals nobama is the sorriest human on earth and i will always believe that bastard is 1 of them…i say enough is enough i am old but i am ready to go over thereand slaughter these animals …i hope we dont end up in world war3 but my friends its looking more like it everyday You Tube Comment by your typical crazy!


And so it goes. A video goes up and the crazies come out.

No one likes a beheading and I – just for clarity – am one of them. I especially hate to see journalists beheaded. No I have not seen the current vehicle making the rounds on the net. And would not view it if offered. I was offered. And wandered from the crazy zone that has it on offer.

Some things should never be seen and this is one of them.

James Foley was a good guy. A dedicated guy and a graduate of Marquette University. He went to war with a camera not a gun and he paid dearly for his stick-to-it-ness.

Are journalists needed in these very worst places on earth? I think it’s time to start the conversation.[pullquote cite=”From The Atlantic” type=”left, right”]

“We have never been prouder of our son Jim,” Foley’s mother posted on Facebook on Tuesday evening. “He gave his life trying to expose the world to the suffering of the Syrian people.”

That exposure is growing fainter by the day. Foley died while working in what is now the most dangerous place in the world to be a reporter—a country where dozens of journalists have been killed and kidnapped in recent years. As the Syrian conflict has grown more indiscriminately violent; as the Syrian government has targeted journalists, censored local news coverage, and barred foreign journalists from the country; as ever-stronger extremist groups have started seizing members of the press (and not even bothering to make demands for their release), news outlets around the world have pulled their staff from the country. Many Syrian journalists and citizen-journalists have been silenced. Freelancers—empowered by the journalistic tools at their disposal, but often lacking the professional experience and institutional safety nets that are invaluable when working in conflict zones—initially helped shore up the coverage, but they too have been deterred by the deteriorating security situation and by risk-conscious news organizations that are wary of publishing their work.


Because more and more, we are seeing press rights dissolving. Foley went missing in Syria quite some time back, when Syria was exploding in civil war. Foley chose to stay. Other journalists left. It was a dangerous place. Any place that offers no set pieces of soldiers in uniform? Is not a safe place for someone with a camera. The front lines in civil conflicts where no uniforms abound draw only the sickest individuals. The guys stepping out into these battles are almost always psychopaths. Do not be misled. Osama Bin Laden was a sociopath. His closest generals were sociopaths.

There is no honor in killing innocents. No valid reason to slaughter thousands because they don’t happen to worship in a proscribed way. There is no religion that favors violence over mercy. Cults do that. And cults are always led by sociopaths.

I think journalists need to understand that.

I have heard a lot of self-serving rhetoric delivered on behalf of Mr. Foley. “He died doing what he loved…” “He was a guy fighting for democracy…”

His mother, alack and alas, stopped just short of knighthood.

James Foley was not a saint. He knew some of the risks. If he died doing what he loved? My question is… why die so soon. Run away from these ugly people… and live… to point and shoot again. You do not participate in the solution from six feet under the desert floor.

Yes, I respect Mr. Foley. Yes, it’s his decision to make. But no. This was not a good decision. Staying in Syria amongst the wingnuts and stone cold killers was a poor get. I know that most war photographers are adrenalin junkies.

Watch The Bang Bang Club and you will derive a notion of what drives these guys. They are not immune. They suffer from PTSD. They develop lifelong bonds with other journalists. They are on the front lines.

What they have to understand is… unlike soldiers, they own the right to go home… when things get hairy.

I just wish James Foley would have made that decision…

To go home.

If for nothing else to save his mom from making that heart wrenching plea I heard today.

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