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Marco Rubio Mourns Steven Sotloff, Calls for Action Against ISIL

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who sits on the U.S. Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, weighed in on the murder of Miami native Steven Sotloff, the journalist beheaded by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorists.

Steven Sotloff was a man of enormous courage and decency, Rubio said on Tuesday. Through his journalism, he demonstrated deep personal compassion toward the Middle East and its people. He hoped to shine a light on both the good and the bad of the region to show the world the dramatic potential of its people as well as the stark forces of evil holding them back. As Steven was a native of Florida, my office has been in contact with his family throughout their ordeal, and today my heart goes out to all who loved him as they make the painful transition from fear to grief.

Stevens balanced and earnest approach to journalism was met with love by many in the Middle East, but with brutal disdain by those whose tactics stood in such clear contrast to his own, Rubio added. Through Stevens execution, ISIL has demonstrated yet again its limitless capacity for cruelty and its unbridled hatred of freedom-loving people everywhere. ISIL continues to establish that its violent grasp for regional control represents a threat to the American people, our allies, and the principles of freedom and human rights that we cherish.

Rubio called for action against ISIL, including working with moderates in the Middle East in combating it and leaving the option of U.S. military strikes on the table.

The horrifying clarity of ISILs message toward America should have been met from the beginning with an equally clear opposing message, Rubio said. ISIL is now the best funded terrorist group ever established and has large areas of territory under their control. There is no disease that becomes easier to treat the longer you wait, and as history has shown time and again, it is the same with malignant forces in global affairs. If we do not act now to assist our Iraqi partners and moderate Syrians who oppose ISIL, as well as utilize our own forces to directly target ISILs leadership, the result will be more suffering and tragedy for our people.

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