Albany (Georgia) Herald on Islamic State's threat to America:
Call it ISIS, ISIL or the Islamic State. By any name it is deadly, and America is in its sights.
The murder of James Foley was — or should have been — a wake-up call for those who have, despite the murders of thousands on Sept. 11, 2001, been lulled into a false sense of security.
These fanatic, brutal killers have an equally false sense of grandeur, but they are dangerous to anyone who doesn't kowtow to their perverted interpretation of their religion.
One thing is for certain, whatever intelligence the United States acquired about this group that led President Obama to dismiss the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant as a "JV," or junior varsity, terror group was as lacking as anything that allowed the sneak jetliner attacks on American soil nearly 13 years ago.
People who think you can reason with ISIL leaders, come up with a compromise are showing ignorance of reality. The only compromise in their eyes is to acquiesce and convert religion and government to forms that they demand. Anyone who resists has committed a capital offense in their eyes.
For more than a decade, al-Qaeda, which pulled off the attacks that killed more than 3,000 innocent people, has been seen as the worst of the terrorist organizations. U.S. officials now say ISIL has replaced them in that position.
ISIL is also proving itself adept at social media. There was no mistake that the murderer of Foley, who the U.S. military attempted to rescue along with other hostages being held by ISIL, spoke with a British accent. It was signal to those in the West who might share their hatred that they are already among them.
So far, America's involvement against ISIL has been restricted to airstrikes and limited efforts such as the failed hostage rescue this summer. A war-weary America, having lost thousands of lives and having spent billions of dollars in a decade of warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan, is resistant to any deeper involvement.
Unfortunately, our enemies are banking on that, believing our freedoms have made us weak and soft. ISIL terrorists, we believe, truly feel they one day will waltz into Washington, D.C., beheading those that will not bow to them, and raise their flag symbolizing the enslavement of body and spirit over the White House.
We cannot afford to continue to underestimate these killers.
The Augusta (Georgia) Chronicle on Eric Holder's presence in Ferguson:
Eric Holder's presence in Ferguson last week was calming, but it remains to be seen how helpful it was in the long term.
We applaud Mr. Holder for helping douse the overheated passions aroused from the shooting of an unarmed black man by a white police officer - as only the nation's first black attorney general could have done. But the Missouri burg, and the entire country, will need his steady hand all the more, should the case not be resolved to the protesters' liking.
Race hustlers such as Al Sharpton, and knee-jerk media reporting by the likes of CNN, served not only to ratchet up the fever in Ferguson, but also to heighten expectations for a criminal conviction of the officer. The unvarnished truth is, such a conviction will be highly difficult absent clear evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that the shooting was unjustified.
Holder helped lower the fever for now, and the past few days have been much calmer in Ferguson. But in his attempt to comfort the locals, he may have inadvertently reinforced expectations of a conviction in the case.
We appreciate his unique ability to empathize with upset residents - recounting his own humiliating brushes with racism in the past and noting that "I am the attorney general of the United States, but I am also a black man." Yet, such statements reinforce notions that this was a racially driven event - which is not yet borne out by the evidence.