Writings and observations

First take/Paris

Probably this is what most people (us included) suspected last night as word about the violence in Paris broke: That ISIS was responsible. This morning, ISIS claimed responsibility. Goes further to show how sick that organization is, that it would take responsibility for something like this.

The violence in Paris obviously calls for blowback – you can hardly leave it unanswered – but it also calls for intelligent blowback, a considered response. ISIS presumably wanted to get something, a specific response, out of what it did: It wants the west to respond, and in a particular way. We might want to consider carefully what that response would be, and if we’d be wise to give it to them.

Panic is not a good response on our part. Neither is flailing. ISIS should be targeted; but we ought to think about how, and how to do it in such a way that it cannot benefit from what we do. – rs

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