The impolite questions

Reader warning: This is going to be a politically incorrect post

So, here’s another Washington Post headline: “Family of former U.S. Army Ranger held hostage by Islamic State plead for his life”.  Well, the first thing to jump out at me was the photo of  Mom and Dad Kassig, parents of the former U.S. Army Ranger being held hostage by ISIS.  Mom Kassig is wearing a head scarf in deference to her son’s captors’ religious, please God, don’t let me choke on this word, sensitivities.  The article quotes the parents pleas to their son’s captors.

The headline highlights the American captive’s military service, yet, here I was wondering definitely cold-hearted things, like how in the hell did this “former U.S. Army Ranger” end up being a hostage.  Well, just like in the Bowe Bergdahl situation, it’s best to avoid asking questions like this, “why in the hell was he in Syria?”  Okay, here’s a small loose thread, which this story left hanging:

“Peter Kassig’s family said he was in the region doing humanitarian work when he disappeared a year ago near the city of Raqqah in eastern Syria.”

Sounds great, he was doing humanitarian work and the next question was with whom was he working, because humanitarian work sounds good, benign, non-political, right?  Move on LB, don’t ask questions, just accept the feel-good story the press presented, be angry that an American patriot is being held captive by barbarians, because that’s the message the headline wanted you to get.

So, Kassig was near Raqqah doing good works when he was captured by ISIS a year ago, who along with the Free Syrian Army and the al-Nsrah front overran government forces in Raqqah.  With whom was Kassig doing humanitarian works near Raqqah, that’s my question.  Here’s one other elusive loose thread, which the reporter didn’t tug on, “The militant then threatened to kill Kassig, a Muslim convert, because of U.S. bombing of Islamic State targets in Syria.”  Aha, Kassig was a Muslim convert, with U.S.Army Ranger training just trekking all the way to Syria to do humanitarian works with whom?  Was he with some aid group?  Or maybe he wanted to join the elusive Syrian moderates, perish the thought that he might have joined the jihad – that would be unthinkable….

Okay, let me add my question about the humanitarian works of Kassig – Sera, his relief organization he founded – it seems hokey to me, there you have it – just a weird female hunch thing.  Lots of red flags – the web page seems amateur, very skimpy on details.  Updated in 2014 that the organization’s operations are temporarily ceased.  How many people work (volunteer) for this organization or was it a one man show?  Maybe Kassig was like Bergdahl – angry at the US military actions in the Muslim world, yes, that question popped into my head.  Enough politically-incorrect thoughts for one dayLB (yes, I am talking to myself, lol) – just accept the picture the media paints and move quietly along.

Sorry still googling and found this Time exposé from January 2013, “An Army Ranger Helps Syrian Refugees”, on Kassig’s Sera humanitarian relief organization – sounds like a one-man show effort.  Here’s some tantalizing threads to consider from this Time piece:

“What have you been doing during your time in Lebanon?

I started by travelling as much as possible throughout the country and focusing my efforts on volunteering on a small scale in a Palestinian refugee camp in South Beirut. I wanted to try and understand the full scope of the level of need and what role I could potentially have in meeting that need. I also volunteer in a hospital in Tripoli, Lebanon, offering my services as a trauma medic to Syrian refugees who have been wounded in the fighting in Syria. From these experiences I began the development of my NGO, SERA, which stands for Special Emergency Response and Assistance. I divide by time between my personal volunteer efforts, my organizations relief operations, which include the distribution of aid materials such as medical equipment and children’s clothing, as well as food and cooking materials in both Lebanon and Syria.”(my highlight)

Oh yes, nothing political in his humanitarian good works, humm.



Filed under Culture Wars, Foreign Policy, General Interest, Islam, Military, Politics, The Media

2 responses to “The impolite questions

  1. Kinnison

    …”Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain”… You got the same vibes I did when I first heard of this guy, LB. The Obama Administration will pull out all stops to free this “Muslim convert”, possibly including a raid in force by U.S. SOF—to make up for the missed opportunity to save the first American hostage killed by ISIS as Obama played golf, went to fund-raisers and dithered—Note our Marine in Mexico is still in the slammer, and the First Ditherer has still not bothereed to pick up the phone and call his good buddy the Mexican president to get him sprung. Probably because he is A) A legitimate combat veteran, B) A gun-owner, and C) Hasn’t coverted to Islam.

  2. One can only wonder what sorts of things Kassig’s fellow Rangers might have to say, but while screaming the “former U.S. Army Ranger” in every headline, no reporters have asked about his military service record or his Muslim conversion (like when did this conversion occur). Just like the first few days of the Bergdahl release, “war hero” reporting – they report what everyone else is reporting and no one commented on the bad vibes from Dad Bergdahl’s Pashtu speech in the Rose Garden.

    I love the US Army Kinnison, but as I frequently told my kids, never forget that Jeffrey Dahmer served in the Army as a combat medic and the JAG branch always stays overworked, but the press only reports “soldier gone bad” stories, when it feeds the political Left’s political storyline.

    Regards, the Marine in Mexico, well Obama has been mum, but even with that story, there’s been something that bothers me. Long ago, the mother was on Greta and she was going on and on about her son and she said he was financially responsible. I don’t recall the exact dollar amount she stated he had, but the amount sounded way too high for a young enlisted man, despite all the crazy bonus money that’s been tossed out. I’ve been rather doubting we know the real deal in this story too. My doubts center on drug-dealing or gun-running questions that popped into my head. I want those doubts laid to rest before I clobber Obama with callous disregard on this one.

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