Congratulations USA. You found the perfect pretext to return your troops to the Middle East. Your creation, ISIS, beheaded a second American, Steve Sotloff, and you won’t take it anymore.
The problem is Satloff was an Israeli intelligence asset. And that muddies an already murky war.
Israel loves soldiers with foreign passports. We get invited to an unassuming office on a major Tel Aviv avenue where we are asked if we’d like a more interesting service.
In my case, I was offered a teaching post in the Philippines. Then I was given a week’s holiday from my army unit where I was followed, my mail was opened and I even got professionally seduced.
It was decided that I was totally unsuited to be a spy. Sotloff was apparently not so fortunate:
Sotloff, who grew up in Miami, madealiyah in 2005 and studied foreign relations at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya.To get to the bottom of the mystery, I have something personal to contribute.
In 1979, Michael Oren and I were drafted into the Israeli army on the same day, arrived at the Bakkum Induction Center on the same bus, and became really good buddies in the two days we waited until we were assigned separate units. I ended up a sand-eating drudge and he got the best the army could offer, induction into the Mossad.
Mr. Oren was Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. from 2009 to 2013. He holds the chair in international diplomacy at IDC Herzliya in Israel and is a fellow at the Atlantic Council. His books include “Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East” and “Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East, 1776 to the Present.”
The intelligence of Israel is taught at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzlia. It relies on its spies for accurate reports. Oren learned his diplomatic skills there and Sotloff was gaining his entry into the foreign affairs world at the IDC, when he was sent on a dangerous assignment into Iraq.
His cover was the same hackneyed story as Oren’s. He was a Kansas City Star reporter, while Sotloff was a freelance journalist “who cared about oppressed people,” according to one publicized statement by a friend who mourned his loss.
His CV contained articles in the Jerusalem Post which could have tipped ISIS off, although one insider gives a good hint that maybe not:
Journalist Steven Sotloff, beheaded by the ISIS, secretly practiced his Judaism but hid it from his captors, according to a fellow kidnap victim who was among those freed. The ISIS posted a video Tuesday showing the execution of Sotloff, less than two weeks after it distributed a similar video of the beheading of journalist James […]
However, and why-ever Sotloff was publicly decapitated, perhaps ISIS got lucky, or thinking sinister thoughts, maybe Sotloff was sacrificed, either way his execution was just the issue needed to push a war-weary America back to the front lines of the Middle East.