When I wrote that James Foley’s beheading was the climax to his work advocating against America and sympathizing with Islamic terrorists, I got a lot of blowback. But I thought it was very important to make the point that some of the ISIS hostages like Foley and Kayla Mueller were the epitome of an idiotic brand of leftist politics that was destroying us.
And if we didn’t wake up, their fate would be ours.
I certainly don’t cheer their deaths. But those deaths are object lessons about the end stage of their politics. Did they wake up when they were about to be beheaded? Honestly, I’m skeptical. Because here is James Foley’s mother after losing her son, coming face to face with Islamic evil. And despite losing her son, she’s learned nothing.
It was a cold morning in Virginia last year when Diane Foley sat opposite the man who kidnapped and helped murder her son, looking him fully in the face as they sat in a nondescript room in the courthouse where he would later be sentenced to life in prison.
But when she sat down, “it felt like it was just me and him. We looked at each other and said ‘hello'”.
There’s two tragedies here. The death of her son and the death of any sane human response to it. Faced with utter evil, the response of liberalism is more of the same.
“It was not an easy thing to do, but it was important,” she said. “Jim would’ve wanted me to do this.”
The sad thing is he probably would have.
James’ death, broadcast on Twitter on 19 August, 2014, has become one of the most enduring and recognisable images in modern times: A young man kneeling in an orange jumpsuit in the desert. A man in a full black mask standing menacingly beside him holding a knife. A beheading carried out on camera.
The video was titled “Message to America.”
America hasn’t gotten the message. Foley’s mother certainly hasn’t.
The four hours she spent with him were, for her, an affirmation of faith, forgiveness and a commitment to what has now become her life’s work after the trauma of her son’s death – freeing hostages around the world.
“It was very important to us that these men were tried in America and for them to have a fair trial,” Diane said.
It was during their four hours together, she said, that she came to pity the terrorist who now faces spending his life in jail.
“I wanted Kotey to be confronted with the horror of what he did,” she said, telling him about the man he murdered, the eldest of her five children.
“For him to understand the goodness he destroyed and why people like James were in Syria. It’s because they cared and wanted to report the truth to the world.
Kotey listened quietly and then also talked about his own family.
“He said had been praying to his Allah for forgiveness. He shared a picture of his family, he has some young children whom he will probably never see again. It made me realise how much he’s lost by following hatred and propaganda. It made me pity him.”
But he never told Diane where the bodies of the hostages he and his conspirators murdered are buried.
Even today, they have never been found.
“And he never said sorry. He was sombre and respectful towards me and talked about remorse”, but never apologised, she said.
When she turned to leave for the last time, she made a parting comment.
“I said to him that I hope at some point we could both forgive one another,” she recalled.
She remembers he looked at her confused and said: “I don’t have to forgive you for anything.”
Of course not.
The Jihadist knows who he is. His liberal victims don’t. He has no pity for them. They pity him far more than they do their own children.
There’s an overused Golda Meir quote that is constantly brought up in relation to the Israel-Islamic conflict. “Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.”
Meir wasn’t all that liberal, but the quote is a masterpiece of liberal mindlessness. It brilliantly misses the entire point. To Muslims, love for their children means killing infidels. It will only end not when their hearts are magically transformed, but when their targets, Jews, Christians, Americans, Europeans, Israelis, Australians, etc, finally love their children more than they love their enemies.
“I know he doesn’t have to forgive me anything, but in that moment…I don’t know.”
She paused, searching for the words.
“I just feel like, as people, none of us are perfect. We all do things we regret.”
“If I hate them, they have won. They will continue to hold me captive because I am not willing to be different to the way they were to my loved one. We have to pray for the courage to be the opposite.”
“It’s a hard journey to forgiveness, and it’s not a done deal but it’s what I aspire to.”
With her son dead, she’s learned nothing. Others have.
Other victims’ family members have said they will not take Diane’s approach.
“I will never forgive them and I have made my peace with that,” Bethany Haines, the daughter of David, told BBC in April as El Sheikh was tried in court.
That is what learning means. I think of Rumsfeld keeping a piece of the jet that hit the World Trade Center in his office. Or what 9/11 commemorations used to be. Defiantly holding on to the memory and to the desire for vengeance. Refusing to submit. And remembering why we fight. Much of the country has lost that to varying degrees. Like the Byzantines, before they fell to the armies of Islam, we are much more bent on fighting each other and allying with them in our internal wars. Others moronically seek an impossible peace with our destroyers. Even after they have done their worst, they seek to forgive them and to have the terrorists forgive us for our existence.
That is the death wish of liberalism in the face of the Jihad.