Via CBC News, Neil Macdonald writes: Look around, ISIS's acolytes are just apprentices at atrocity. He points out that far worse atrocities have been committed in the DR Congo, but they attract no attention in western media. Excerpt:
The most charitable view is that national leaders tend to act on the fears and desires and preoccupations of their voters, and while ISIS has terrified Americans by beheading a handful of Westerners, nobody really cares what goes on in the Congo.
It's far away, in the middle of a continent widely perceived as dirty and savage, and the victims are all, well, black Africans.
Western politicians also take their cues from news outlets, and while editors don't like to discuss such things, Africa (along with a few other wretched parts of the Earth) barely makes the news menu, if at all.
A struggling baby panda in some zoo will easily knock an African genocide off the nightly newscast.
It's not a conscious racism — journalists profess, probably sincerely, concern for suffering and death everywhere. And the level of education among editorial staff, like diplomats, can be remarkable where world affairs are concerned.
But what makes it onto front pages and newscasts and national agendas tells the story.
Passenger liners that crash in Africa barely make world briefs, or "in other news" sections voiced over by the anchor. Jets that go down carrying Europeans or North Americans stay on front pages and newscasts for days.
The current Ebola epidemic only began grabbing serious space on American newscasts when Obama said its spread had become "exponential," and declared it a threat to American national security.
Move over Keyser Söze
But even within the Middle East, where brutality and savagery are often considered normal governance, ISIS has assumed a special status as evil incarnate.
Yes, ISIS has carried out beheadings, often for apostasy, which in ISIS's book means not following its deranged interpretation of Islam.
But so has the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, whose princes walk hand in hand, sometimes literally, with American presidents, and are welcomed in the society salons of Georgetown.
The Saudis have beheaded 46 people so far this year, including 19 in the first three weeks of August. Like ISIS, the Saudis favour public beheadings, and have sometimes strung the decapitated corpses up to rot in public.
Grounds for beheading in Saudi Arabia include sorcery. Seriously, sorcery.
And, of course, apostasy. (The Saudian Arabian version of Islam, Wahabbism, isn't all that different from the ferocious ISIS interpretation.)
Yes, one might argue, but the Saudis are America's allies, not its sworn enemies.
Well, setting aside the fact that that hardly excuses beheading apostates, or sorcerers, in the 21st century, most of the 9/11 attackers were Saudis, and wealthy Saudis have funded some of the most anti-Western radicals worldwide, not the least of which were the Taliban.
Incidentally, they have also funneled an awful lot of money to the opposition fighters in Syria, which of course means ISIS.