WITH EACH day, the barbarism of the Islamist extremists terrorizing Syria and Iraq becomes more evident — as does the need for the United States and its allies to act more vigorously to block their rise.
On Tuesday the group that calls itself the Islamic State released a video of the beheading of American journalist James Foley . Mr. Foley, as President Obama said Wednesday, “reported from difficult and dangerous places. .?.?. [He] courageously told the stories of his fellow human beings.” One reason there has been so little outcry as more than 150,000 Syrians have been killed and millions rendered homeless is that reporting on that nation’s brutal war is so dangerous. Those like Mr. Foley, who risk everything to bear witness, deserve our admiration, and his killers deserve our contempt.
Mr. Foley is one among thousands of victims murdered by the Islamic State as it has conquered territory in Syria and Iraq. Mr. Obama summed up its record all too well. “They have rampaged across cities and villages killing innocent, unarmed civilians in cowardly acts of violence,” the president said. “They abduct women and children and subject them to torture and rape and slavery. They have murdered Muslims, both Sunni and Shia, by the thousands. They target Christians and religious minorities, driving them from their homes, murdering them when they can, for no other reason than they practice a different religion.”