The Daily Beast

America Took the Bait After an Attack 20 Years Ago. Not This Time.

Sayed Khodaiberdi Sadat/Anadolu Agency via Getty

In the wake of the horrific bombings that claimed dozens of lives including 12 U.S. service members, we as a nation and our leaders are confronted with a very difficult challenge.

We must find a way to acknowledge our horror and the courage and sacrifice of those who have fallen without letting the perpetrators of the crime seize hold of our emotions and force us to compound the damage they have done with bad decisions that ultimately damage us further.

That is, after all, the objective of terrorists. It is their force multiplier. They, who are by and large weak, amplify the impact of their deeds by attacking highly visible soft targets in ways that generate media coverage and public reaction. And then they hope that those they attack respond in a way that further elevates them—by characterizing their threat as bigger than it is or by becoming bogged down in asymmetric conflicts that weaken them in terms of their public image and their resources.

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