Recently, ISIS released another beheading video - this time, of aid worker and U.S. Army Ranger, Peter Kassig. Kassig had returned to the Middle East and founded a relief organization to help war victims. While working on behalf of the organization, he was captured last year in Syria as he was delivering relief supplies to refugees of Syria's civil war.
Do you remember when the first beheading video came out? It stopped the news. It was everywhere. There were outcries for action and justice. But this time, it seemed like there was very little coverage compared to the beheading of James Foley. Have we already stopped caring? Kassig was the third American to be killed. It seems the American public has already become desensitized to these horrific acts of cruelty. Is this how our society as a whole is going to react in the future? Where is the outrage?
Every day we hear something about ISIS. We know that airstrikes are happening. We know that ISIS militants are committing horrible injustices against humanity, but has America had enough of the Middle East? For so many years the Middle East has been a focus of the news and the American public has tuned it out to a certain degree. The shock value has dissipated in regards to the beheadings and countless other horrific acts. Does that mean we have stopped caring about them?
As the number of military advisors going to Iraq increases, American troops in Afghanistan can now again engage all Taliban fighters, not just al-Qaida terrorists. American service members fought hard and many lost their lives to free Iraq and now, it is in the hands of ISIS militants. Were all those efforts in vain? There are threats in the Middle East that cannot be ignored and ISIS has made it clear they will not be ignored. One has to wonder if the U.S. will ever truly leave the Middle East in the near future…as of right now, the answer seems to be no. In the meantime, will Americans start caring again?
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*These opinions belong to the writer and in no way reflect the views of the DoD or other departments of the US government.