Column: Reporter's murder shows the danger
Once again we have been confronted with the horrors of the world in the inhuman murder of reporter Jim Foley. His death at the hands of an Islamic State terrorist, who allegedly is British, has struck fear around the world.
In the past two years 70 reporters have been killed in Syria and 20 are still missing. Worldwide 170 reporters have been murdered since 2012, making it the most dangerous time ever to cover the most dangerous countries and wars.
The Islamic State (once called the Islamic State in Syria, or ISIS, but which now extends well beyond Syria’s borders) should make us even more nervous because it has been able to recruit jihadists worldwide, primarily by using the Internet. It also has the financial resources necessary to create more terror and havoc since they have captured oil wells and refineries in Syria and Iraq. It is estimated that it is earning $3 million a day by selling oil on the black market, or over $1 billion annually. You can buy a lot of terror with $1 billion!
It’s also very dangerous to be a freelance reporter, particularly an American freelance reporter. None of the freelancers have the infrastructure protecting them like the reporters from major networks. Also, unlike the French and other European countries, the American government does not pay ransom, which makes our reporters even more vulnerable. On the other hand these reporters do some of the best work in telling us what is happening in conflicts around the world. Their bravery is unmatched because they understand the danger in which they operate.
The saddest part of the CNN coverage was seeing Foley kneeling before his murderer, bravely talking about his family and his desire to seeing them again. May his family find the strength to help them through this difficult time and may we have the strength to deal with the terrorists who may confront us in the future.