First of all, yay! Second, I love that choice of passive verb. And third, I hope Mohammed Emwazi is enjoying his seventy-two Lorena Bobbits, because they're all going to have daggers and he won't.
But the way ABC News framed this story really killed the buzz:
The ISIS terrorist dubbed “Jihadi John”, who oversaw the brutal executions of American and Western hostages, was hit by a U.S. air strike Thursday night and is believed to have been killed, U.S. officials told ABC News.
One official said the jihadist, Mohammed Emwazi, was thought to be hit as he left a building in Raqqa, Syria, and entered a vehicle. The official called it a “flawless” and “clean hit” with no collateral damage and that Emwazi basically “evaporated.”
“U.S. forces conducted an airstrike in Raqqa, Syria, on November 12th, 2015 targeting Mohamed Emwazi, also known as ‘Jihadi John,'” Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said.
“Emwazi, a British citizen, participated in the videos showing the murders of U.S. journalists Steven Sotloff and James Foley, U.S. aid worker Abdul-Rahman Kassig, British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning, Japanese journalist Kenji Goto, and a number of other hostages,” Cook said. “We are assessing the results of tonight’s operation and will provide additional information as and where appropriate.”
Nightline host Juju Chang turns to "Chief Investigative Correspondent" Brian Ross and the first question out of her mouth after his report is, "Does this constitute a turning point in the fight against ISIS"?
No, it doesn't, Miss Chang. You want to know why? Because the War Against Islamic Fundamentalism isn't a symbolic game of whack-a-mole, and it is not a series of individual manhunts. al Qaeda was not defeated by our finally bagging Osama bin Laden; Emir Zawahiri succeeded him and the war raged on. When Emir Zarqawi was snuffed out in a similar drone strike in 2007, did that end the war against the precursor of ISIS in Iraq? No, it did not. Somebody else took his place and the war waged on. You want to know what would constitute a turning point in the fight against ISIS, Miss Chang? The U.S. re-invasion of Iraq (We can't invade Syria now because the Russians beat us to it) and "Surge II," which is what crushed what is now ISIS the first time.
This isn't about personalities and "WANTED" posters, Miss Chang; this is what you don't want to admit but you know, deep down, is and always has been true: a clash of civilizations. I am elated that "Jihadi John" is free floating molecules this morning; but he's just one jihadist, and wasn't even a top commander in the organization. We will not defeat this massive, WMD-wielding death cult until each and every member of it reaches the state "Jihadi John" now inhabits. And when significant progress is made toward that end, the Islamic State will cease to be seen as the "strong horse" in this equation, their recruiting cachet will, well, evaporate, Muzzie fundies will see that "Allah's will" has turned away from them, and they'll go home.
There is no cheap short cut to actual victory, Juju. Either that price must be paid, or we will ALL pay the ultimate price eventually.