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Kerry’s Eulogy for Decapitated Journalist Gilded With Empty Claims

Kerry's eulogy for decapitated journalist was stirring, but his claim that the U.S. will always hold accountable those who murder U.S. citizens abroad is simply - tragically - not true.
Journalist Steven Sotloff, beheaded by Islamic State murderers in video shown on Sept. 2, 2014.

Journalist Steven Sotloff, beheaded by Islamic State murderers in video shown on Sept. 2, 2014.
Photo Credit: Facebook

By now most sentient beings are aware that ISIS – currently the world’s foremost bloodthirsty Islamist terrorist gang – has beheaded yet another American journalist, Steven Joel Sotloff. Cue Foggy Bottom, and right on time an eloquent eulogy for Sotloff is issued under Secretary of State John Kerry’s name. The prose in praise of Sotloff fairly sings:

Steven Sotloff’s reporting was as empathetic as his killers are evil. He focused on the stories of average people trapped in war, and documented their day-in and day-out struggle for dignity. Like Martha Gellhorn, he chronicled humanity in the face of inhumanity, and he told the story of enormous generational events as if they were happening to someone you knew from your own life.

And the condemnation of the evil warmongers is unsparing: Sotloff was “taken from us in an act of medieval savagery by a coward hiding behind a mask.” Not only that, but the Islamic State (or ISIS or ISIL) members practice “unfathomable brutality”and are “terrorist murderers.”

Who could disagree?

But then Kerry, or one or several of his writers had to muck it all up. They had to veer off from eloquent eulogies and deserved denunciations onto a path of self-congratulatory braggadocio, of no-Americans-left-behind posturing that is tragically false.

Kerry could not pass up the opportunity to make the ludicrous claim that the United States did everything in its power to try and bring home Sotloff and also James Foley. Foley, of course, was also brutally decapitated by ISIS and the video of that murder, using sophisticated techniques and equipment, was shared with the world just last week.

In his Sept. 3 statement, Kerry claimed both that the U.S. did everything in its power to save the lives of kidnapped Americans, and that it will hold accountable every barbarian who has murdered Americans abroad, no matter how long it takes.

The U.S. Government has used every military, diplomatic, and intelligence tool we have, and we always will. Our special operations forces bravely risked a military operation to save these lives, and we’ve reached out diplomatically to everyone and anyone who might be able to help. That effort continues, and our prayers remain – as they always are – with the families of all hostages who remain trapped in Syria today. Barbarity, sadly, isn’t new to our world. Neither is evil. We’ve taken the fight to it before, and we’re taking the fight to it today. When terrorists anywhere around the world have murdered our citizens, the United States held them accountable, no matter how long it took. And those who have murdered James Foley and Steven Sotloff in Syria should know that the United States will hold them accountable too, no matter how long it takes.

But that just ain’t true. You see, to take just one set of examples that proves with certainty Kerry’s bravado is empty, consider all of the Americans who have been murdered or seriously harmed by Palestinian Arab terrorists in the Middle East. Not one of those terrorists responsible have been hunted down, not one has been held accountable. Not one. Ask the families of Alisa Flatow (bus bombing 1995), or that of  Sara Duker (bus bombing, 1996), or of Leah Stern (homicide bombing, 1997), or of Rabbi Hillel Lieberman (stabbing, 2000), or of Sarah Blaustein (drive-by shooting, 2001), or of Marla Bennett, Benjamin Blutstein, Janis Ruth Coulter, David Gritz, or Dina Carter (Hebrew University bombing, 2002), or of Daniel Wultz (homicide bombing, 2006) to take just a random sample of some of the many Americans killed by Palestinian Arab terrorists while they were visiting or studying in Israel.

So the rhetoric bemoaning the loss of Steven Sotloff was lovely, but it was ruined by the empty – pathetically and demonstrably empty – bravado.

So you terrorists, especially any Palestinian Arab terrorists: if you kill an American, especially but not exclusively an American Jew, you are practically guaranteed the United States will do the opposite of what it claims. The U.S. government will do absolutely nothing to hold you accountable. Instead, the U.S. government may even urge the Israeli government to release you as a concession (to terrorists, what else?) if you end up in an Israeli prison. But that’s a story for another day.

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.


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If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

9 Responses to “Kerry’s Eulogy for Decapitated Journalist Gilded With Empty Claims”

  1. Kerry is a waste of space. He wouldn’t know the truth if it came up and bit him on the tuchis. He’s the puppet of Muslim lover Obama.

  2. Kerry certainly described Sotoloff clearly

  3. Kerry is an self serving idiot

  4. it is presumptuous of Kerry to identify himself with Martha Gellhorn, erstwhile wife of Ernest Hemingway. She and he were both committed to the truth in their reporting. She is remembered inter alia for an important article in the Atlantic Monthly about 1960 which had some important things to say about Arab refugees, Arab Nazi collaboration, etc.

  5. >"Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost."

    The 2nd sentence contradicts the first. Acceptance of religion makes meaningful debate impossible, for atheists such as myself.

    >"If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked."

    Again, the requirement for accepting Judaism as the one and true religion makes debate impossible. And one truth about Israel is that it does advocate violence, via the I"D"F, and not only against terrorists: the I"D"F often killes innocent civilians in the territories it illegally and oppressively occupies in defiance of US resolutions.

  6. You forgot the most recent case: Naphtali Frenkel, one of the 3 murdered teenagers.

  7. Chaiya Eitan says:

    Does Kerry think that people actually believe him??

  8. Nick Thomas says:

    He is such a complete empty suit, idiot, he probably does think he is believable….The only smart thing he ever did was marry a very rich mizkeit. (spell check didn't work on that one)

  9. Kerry and Obama betrayed US, no trust to those guys. They cannot do job properly, only talks . WE NEED STRONG POLITICIAN, NOT TWO CLOWNS, they disgraced UNITED STATE

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