As President Obama addresses the public regarding his plans for handling ISIS (he will do so Wednesday, on the eve of the 9/11 anniversary), as the UK government raises its terror threat level from "substantial" to "severe," as the threat of Islamist extremism appears closer to home than ever, let us hope the horrible almost unspeakable deaths of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff will not be in vein. They should be remembered as modern day heroes and American martyrs. And let's have confidence that their murderers will be brought to justice.
The parents of Steven Sotloff just held a memorial for their lost son this past weekend. They live in Miami; they raised their son in Miami, in fact, Steven was a son of Miami, and Florida -- a UCF grad, separated from most of us by only one or two degrees. According to the Sun-Sentinel, the rabbi began the memorial with the following words: "Is there a sorrow greater than this? Where's our consolation?"
Those are breathtaking and bold words. And the questions are almost impossible to answer. And the answers will never be good enough. But still, something's changed. It started with the shock and ire after Mr. Foley's death and reached a tipping point after the tragic demise of Mr. Sotloff. Plans for dealing with ISIS are now front and center in the news cycle. Politicians from the highest levels of government from all around the world are now focused on this threat with extreme seriousness and vigor. Congress returns to work this week after summer recess and this conversation will fill its hallowed halls. Public sentiment in the polls has also changed and now a majority of Americans, war weary as we are, feel that it's time to deal with ISIS, no matter what it takes. ISIS wants a fight; well, it looks like they're going to get one. And although it might not bring solace to the families of the slain journalists, history should mark their sacrifices as the tipping point for what this world might become.