The Obama Administration has never been one to let a sad piece of news slip by unexploited, and when news emerged last night of the beheading of journalist James Foley by ISIS, they were quick to transition their narrative to fit the new story.
The US was already escalating the Iraq War at an alarming pace under the guise of a “humanitarian intervention,” but now are using Foley’s killing as the official justification to continue that escalation in the name of revenge.
President Obama presented ISIS as a “cancer” that had to be “extracted” from the Middle East, going on to accuse them of plotting genocide and offering “nothing but an endless slavery.”
Obama went on to declare that “no just God would stand for what they did yesterday and what they do every single day,” vowing his own relentless pursuit of them.
Secretary of State John Kerry was more direct, vowing to crush ISIS militarily, and declaring the group the “face of a new evil” whose very existence is an insult to Islam.
Kerry went heavy on the thesaurus today, dubbing ISIS “ugly, savage, inexplicable, nihilistic, and valueless evil,” and saying the US will track them down anywhere in the world to destroy them.
The State Department also seems to be driving a lot of the escalation push right now, asking for another 300 US ground troops to be deployed to sites in Baghdad, including the US Embassy and the Baghdad airport. The Pentagon is “considering” the request, but its acceptance is all but certain.
The humanitarian excuse for the US war was basically up when they got to Mount Sinjar and realized there weren’t 40,000 Yazidis there. Officials seem to feel Foley’s death is a good excuse to shed the last remnants of that talking point in favor of a return to the 2003-style bellicosity. America’s goal in the war is now wiping out its self-proclaimed enemies, and any suggestion of a closed-ended operation has long sense flown out the window.