My comment today at “Ordinary Times” (first in more than a year): You think you want to live in a world where the murder of Americans as Americans, or politically, could be broadcast to all, in connection with the rescue…
Referring to the group simply as “IS” quietly constitutes the enemy as “the Islamic State,” and reinforces perception of the struggle as anti-Islamic for some, for others as significantly a different thing: anti-Islamist.
It is hard to imagine a world in which acts like the murders of James Foley and Steven Sotloff simply as Americans, in connection with an American decision to rescue others from imminent annihilation, did not produce among Americans a demand for punishment as both practical and moral necessity. Yet there is a tendency even among many would-be supporters of President Obama, or of his plans to “degrade and ultimately destroy” “the group known as ISIL,” to diminish and disdain politically aggravated homicides as actual and compelling bases for a specifically American reaction.
Summary: A year ago, Americans were being asked to kill non-enemies because it was abstractly right; now are being asked to kill enemies at war with us.