I an currently reading a novel written by Brad Thor. The title is Act of War. It’s a military thriller with the story line of America fights the bad guys and ends up winning, despite all the odds,

This action-packed novel has caused me to wonder how often American operatives actually go behind enemy lines on secret missions, and how much of this book is based on factual research as opposed to creative imaginings.

I got a partial answer to my question today as the White House announced that a United States Special Operations team tried and failed to rescue James Foley, and other Americans held hostage in Syria, during a secret mission this summer.

Foley is the journalist whose orange-suited image has been broadcast around the world with a grim reaper ISIS terrorist beside him in hooded maleficence. Horrifically, Foley is the journalist murdered by that ISIS terrorist in a head severing that was captured on video for all the world to witness.

The beheading of this American journalist is beyond my comprehension…more the stuff of adventure novels by Brad Thor than real life. The fact that this heinous group of terrorists recorded Foley’s death makes his murder even more sickening.

I have not, nor will not, watch the brutal video. The still photo of Foley on his knees awaiting his death is more than enough for me.  Instead, what does draw my attention to this story are James Foley’s parents, John and Diane  The grace with which the Foleys spoke to the media yesterday, within hours of learning that their son had been murdered in a most unimaginable way, was both heartbreaking and inspiring.

This husband and wife stood before the cameras and talked about their son in a loving and proud manner that was almost unimaginable.They then spoke directly to the ISIS terrorists, asking for mercy for the journalists still held captive. They completed their public statement with the words that James “would not want us to hate or be bitter”


If my child had been held captive for almost two years, during which time I tried every possible avenue to earn his freedom, and then one day he was publicly beheaded by his captors, I would be so far beyond bitter. I would be angry and hate filled and determined to make someone pay for the slaying that took my child’s life. And more than likely I would write about it and speak out about it and lobby any and every government agency about it—whatever I thought might ensure that no other American family would ever endure such a tragedy again…..

…..not even in a novel.