The twitchy finger on the button

There was an interesting piece written by Thomas Friedman a few days ago in which he dissected the two ISIS(es?) One he called the virtual ISIS—the group that lays claim to terrorist activities from Nice to San Bernardino. The other is the territorial ISIS which is ravaging Syria and which Assad, Hezbollah, Russia, and Iran should be fighting, since they engendered it.

Our missile response to the brutality of biological warfare in Syria is understandable—not presidential, but understandable. Still, this is a fight that belongs to the aforementioned parties, not the United States. Our job is to make sure the world knows of Russia and Iran’s collusion and force them to clean up their mess.

But where in this equation does the dropping of a Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb (MOAB) on an area of Afghanistan prove anything except that we have such a thing—or used to? Killing 36 ISIS fighters reflects the beliefs of lots of fossilized thinkers in our government who remember how the U.S. won World War II, but who have conveniently forgotten how our wars have gone since then—how warfare itself has evolved, and how many soldiers in Viet Nam and Iraq and Afghanistan have had their lives taken from them in order to prove that. Still, we built the so-called mother of all bombs, and wackier still, used it.

The blast did minimal damage to territorial ISIS, and probably strengthened the resolve of their virtual counterpart. Add to this the constant saber-rattling with North Korea and there’s little to be optimistic about as Christians and Jews celebrate these spring holidays of resurrection and liberation.

Or rather commemorate them: there is regretfully little to celebrate.

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