The commentators 21-08-14
...on James Foley
There is a coda to this tale, another aspect of James Foley’s life that is also being shared far and wide across the world. It is the short statement by his mother, released on his Facebook page. “We have never been prouder of our son Jim. He gave his life trying to expose the world to the suffering of the Syrian people,” her statement began. It has already been shared more than 2,500 times. This is how we win: not by suppressing the worst of us, but by sharing and saluting the best – people such as Foley and his family
- James Ball, The Guardian
A question arises that must be answered by the authorities of nations who still have hostages in the clutches of the Islamic State: was enough done to save James Foley? Britain prides itself on a tough stance against terrorism, and the accepted, pragmatic wisdom of both British and US governments — that negotiation with terrorists validates terrorism and encourages kidnapping — holds some truth. Yet it has never prevented either government from conducting backroom deals with terrorists when it suits them, however much they may deny it.
- Anthony Loyd, The Times
The murder of American journalist James Foley has further exposed the terrifying role played by British-born radicals in the barbaric jihadist movement. What is so disturbing is not just the scale of their involvement — with more than 500 British Muslims now estimated to be fighting for the extremists in Syria and Iraq — but also the depths of their violence. It is no exaggeration to say that the British militants are among the most vicious and vociferous of the recruits to the Islamic State terror network, which aims to establish a medieval-style caliphate in the region.
- Shiraz Maher, Daily Mail
Western journalists who cover the likes of Syria these days have to do so with no special treatment, other than being specifically targeted for kidnapping and worse. That James Foley and others choose to take that risk, working in a world where the sword is most definitely mightier than the pen, shows that whatever else is said about journalism these days, some of its old traditions are still going strong
- Colin Freeman, Daily Telegraph
The best way to tell James Foley’s story, and to honour his life, seems obvious: not through the pictures of him, but through the pictures he fixed in our brains of others, the voices he tried to amplify from a part of the world that it sometimes seems that we would rather forget
- Archie Bland, The Independent
First World War centenary
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