Maybe we are to understand at the outset that this lays out simlarites, collapsing categories, among terrorism, torture and war in a the sense that we already understand them as political, some sort of collective action. But only war among is limited to the political. Terrorism and torture within the family or family like groups perhaps belongs n the category tree as well.
The drama of collective/individual, the dynamics of power among humans themselves, between humans and whatever set (only) seems to exclude humans is n some sense the source of the political. War on this stage is metphorical but terror and torture are not.
In way I can't articulate, the seeming disconnect betweeen the the response and the magnitude, "that also enables the lesser magnitude to exceed the greater in our sympathies" comes from this source within the family and is not irrational but only not clearly understood.