When the White House confirmed today that humanitarian aid worker Kayla Mueller had died while in the captivity of the radical and brutal Islamic State, the internet was alight with emotional reactions. The world hadn’t known Mueller’s name or face until less than a week ago, although she was taken captive in Jordan in August 2013 and had even been able to get a letter home to her parents that stated she was being treated well and asked for the forgiveness at the hurt and pain she was causing by her absence from their lives.
The world didn’t know Kayla because one of the Islamic State’s conditions on her safe return was that her name and situation not be known, although it is unclear why was a stipulation. Mueller’s parents and the government abided by these terms, although her name and situation became public this past weekend when the Islamic State claimed that American captive Kayla Mueller was killed during airstrikes by Jordan, a claim that Jordan denies and claims it is being said to try to stir up tension among Jordan and allies.
President Obama, under intense scrutiny from the world, has stated that in June, 2014, he ordered a ground rescue attempt of Kayla Mueller and other western captives. President Obama claims that they “missed it by a day or two,” apparently meaning that ground troops surrounded buildings where Mueller and others had recently been held, but had been moved before U.S. forces could find her. The U.S. government claims it does not know when or how Mueller died, but it does not appear many believe Islamic State’s claim that Jordanian air strikes killed her.
While many people blame the Islamic State for 26-year-old Mueller’s death, some have said she bore some responsibility for putting herself in the hostage hotbed of Syria, and that being there was not a wise decision, endangering herself and any U.S. troops or allies that may attempt to rescue her.
Many others showed anger and contempt toward President Obama, feeling that the he had not taken a strong enough stand against the Islamic State, hadn’t insisted on more rescue attempts, and does not command a presence in the world as a strong leader.
According to USA Today, Courtney Cormican, a Facebook user, was clearly angry at the lack of response by President Obama prior to Kayla’s death, and she was not alone in her sentiments on social media.
“This is sickening. While our President sits and twiddled [sic] his thumbs more Americans are being killed by these sorry excuse for humans. ISIS is blaming Jordan just to cover up what they did. At least Jordan enforces an ‘eye for an eye.'”
President Obama is asking Congress for backing of some unknown type to combat ISIS; this is developing as we speak. President Obama has the authority to deploy troops and command strikes and has done so without Congressional approval in the past.