Comforting as it is to speak of the world in the language of policy and politics, strategy and tactics, there is this other element. This chord of madness that stirs the enemy as, for instance when, as Reuters reports:

A Saudi father gave his ex-wife the shock of her life when he informed her he was taking their 10 and 11 year-old-sons to join Islamist militants in Syria, telling her to count them as "birds in heaven …" Islamic State militants later posted a photo of the father and his two sons crouching in front of Islamic State's black flag, with each boy brandishing an AK-47 rifle in one hand. The father was smiling as one of the boys also held a grenade in his other hand.

Then there was the photo, widely posted yesterday, of the seven-year old boy holding a severed head. Secretary of State Kerry, the AP reports, described the image as "disturbing" and "grotesque.”

He also:

… called for international cooperation against the terrorist threat posed by foreign fighters returning home from Iraq and Syria.

One fears that it will take a lot more than that.

This is an enemy engages in operations designed to chase thousands of civilians to the top of a barren mountain to die of disease, starvation, and thirst. And arm seven year-old boys to make it happen.

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