RIP James Foley – An American Journalist
I’ve had plenty of time to churn over the death of James Foley since the militant organization the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) released the video of his beheading. I am half Arab and I hate the demonizing that groups of that nature bring to my people, but I also understand to a certain degree the circumstances surrounding the creation of such groups and that journalists like James Foley assume a risk when they enter combat zones. This in no way gives an interpretation of relative subjectivity to the scenario and, given my peripheral association with him, it certainly filled me hatred and vile when I came across the video. When something hits home it takes on a different reality.
My friend Yago Cura was a close friend of Foley’s and when he went missing in Syria near the Turkish border in November of 2012, he was one of the louder voices generating awareness of his capture and assisted in his capacity in the effort to free him. My youngest brother also became involved by creating posters and imagery for this effort. Through them two, Jim’s name was never far off from earshot in the two years since his capture.
Did I go on my personal social media outlets and say these things: “…Foley was a teacher and a journalist and a motherfucking cheech wizard; no sleep until the children of the children of the children of his executors are beheaded as well; I’m sorry for the vitriol and the anger, nothing is ever real until it hits your doorstep…” and “…he did what he thought would be right until the end, for that we must never fault him but he died because others misinterpreted reality, we must never rest until the fires of a thousand demons torment his executioner’s entire lineage?” Yes I did. I don’t regret my anger at the moment, but for now the wisest thing to do is to have whatever the equivalent of a digital moment of silence is and I figure I’ll not worry about albums today.
In the meantime, here is some information on the sheer strength and resolute will that Jim displayed during his captivity by a French journalist that ISIS released earlier this year. Also, Marquette University, Foley’s alma mater, has established a scholarship fund in his honor for communications students. I feel the tears coming so I’ll leave you with some images of Jim doing what he did best. Also keep in mind, that the other man featured in the video, Steven Sotloff, is a South Florida native and journalist. He is also a friend of a friend. This doesn’t get any closer to home than that and, quite frankly, I’m not emotionally prepared to deal with this.
One day, the abject pieces of shit that did this to him, his family and extended network of friends and colleagues will be eradicated from the universe by some violent means. No one will mourn them, no one will remember them. I don’t believe in an afterlife so I’ll gamble that they’ll end on the “negative” side of whatever their belief system duped them into believing. Foley’s name will never be forgotten. Now we must focus our attention on Sotloff and the other journalists in captivity, the struggle is not over and if Foley’s strength is any sign of where his thoughts were, he wouldn’t want any relenting in the struggle to free them all.
James Foley 1973 – 2014, strong until the end and beyond.
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