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The Obama Doctrine: Half Measures, Gestures and Yet Another American Is Dead at the Hands of ISIS

By New York Post Editorial Board

Yet another American is dead at the hands of ISIS.

Kayla Jean Mueller was an idealistic 26-year-old volunteer who’d been held hostage in Syria by the Islamic State for nearly two years before being killed.

In the handwritten letter home released by her family, she expresses concern about being a source of anxiety to her parents and makes clear a peace rooted in her faith in God. She had been kidnapped while she was working with refugees in Syria.

After Jordan airplanes struck back at ISIS fighters for burning to death one of their pilots, the Islamic State claimed Mueller had been killed in the raid. US authorities say this is doubtful.

But even if it were true, the blood would still be on ISIS’s hands. Indeed, their actions explain why they are terrorists: They took this civilian woman prisoner and held her in a war zone.

Mueller’s tragic death is one more warning sign of the vulnerability of Americans in the region.

It is a vulnerability that grows with an Obama Doctrine based on half-measures for what we will do and constant public reassurances of what we will not.

Instead of all-in or all-out, the president continues to settle for gestures — whether it’s a nuclear deal with Iran or token air strikes on ISIS when even some of his own commanders have said this isn’t enough to get the job done.


The following is text of a letter 26-year-old American Kayla Mueller wrote to her family while in ISIS captivity in November 2014:

Everyone, If you are receiving this letter it means I am still detained but my cell mates (starting from 11/2/2014) have been released. I have asked them to contact  you + send you this letter. It's hard to know what to say. Please know that I am in a safe location, completely unharmed + healthy (put on weight in fact); I have been treated w/ the utmost respect + kindness. I wanted to write you all a well thought out letter (but I didn't know if my cell mates would be leaving in the coming days or the coming months restricting my time but primarily) I could only but write the letter a paragraph at a time, just the thought of you all sends me into a fit of tears. If you could say I have 'suffered' at all throughout this whole experience it is only in knowing how much suffering I have put you all through; I will never ask you to forgive me as I do not deserve forgiveness. I remember mom always telling me that all in all in the end the only one you really have is God.

I have come to a place in experience where, in every sense of the word, I have surrendered myself to our creator b/c literally there was no else ... + by God + by your prayers I have felt tenderly cradled in freefall. I have been shown in darkness, light + have learned that even in prison, one can be free. I am grateful. I  have come to see that there is good in every situation, sometimes we just have to look for it. I pray each day that if nothing else, you have felt a certain closeness + surrender to God as well + have formed a bond of love + support amongst one another ... I miss you all as if it has been a decade of forced separation.

I have had many a long hour to think, to think of all the things I will do w/ Lex, our first family camping trip, the first meeting @ the airport. I have had many hours to think how only in your absence have I finally @ 25 years old come to realize your place in my life. The gift that is each one of you + the person I could + could not be if you were not a part of my life, my family, my support. I DO NOT want the negotiations for my release to be your duty, if there is any other option take it, even if it takes more time. This should never have become your burden. I have asked these women to support you; please seek their advice. If you have not done so already, [REDACTED] can contact [REDACTED] who may have a certain level of experience with these people. None of us could have known it would be this long but I know I am also fighting from my side in the ways I am able + I have a lot of fight left inside of me.

I am not breaking down + I will not give in no matter how long it takes. I wrote a song some months ago that says, 'The part of me that pains the most also gets me out of bed, w/out your hope there would be nothing left ...' aka- The thought of your pain is the source of my own, simultaneously the hope of our reunion is the source of my strength. Please be patient, give your pain to God. I know you would want me to remain strong. That is exactly what I am doing. Do not fear for me, continue to pray as will I + by God's will we will be together soon.


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