Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Taking the Bait

("Take a Deep Breath")

Why did ISIS poke us with a stick? Why would this group provoke us with videos intended to mandate a visceral reply?  Why are they taking the fight to us? Are we being played?

Clearly, the beheadings were a marketing tool, a recruiting poster on steroids. For those disaffected, disillusioned, disenchanted, discouraged and dismayed by the events that have swirled around them creating such havoc, the United States has been cast in the role of malevolence personified. Like a deus ex machina having gone horribly wrong, bringing with it only death and destruction. The videos were the equivalent of spitting in the face of a vengeful, evil god and announcing that,as of that moment, it was no longer in control.

But, are we compelled to take this bait, or do we merely descend to the level of our provocateurs if we throw first our toe, then our foot, and before we realize it,  possibly our entire being back into the morass?

If we have learned lessons over the past 13 years, and it is most difficult in a time of crisis, real or imagined, to step back and do as Mr. Friedman suggests, then it is that embarking on a course in the absence of contemplation and consideration of consequences is not a proper method for governing.

Maybe ISIS is counting on cooler heads prevailing, that the heat of the moment will soon pass, that the humiliation will run its course and all that will remain is the hard reality of the disaster of re-engaging in this region.

There are only tough questions and elusive answers here.

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