Terrorist attacks are not intended to bring a country or a system down with one strike. They are designed to instill fear, to create panic, despair, and more than anything, anger and hate.
Terror feeds off fear but it is not satisfied until its feeds off the anger of its victims.
Terror only works when we let our fear and anger dictate what happens next.
I'm not a dove but I'm not a hawk either. A response is necessary: a smart one that denies the Islamic State of what it seeks. The IS wants us to hate the Other to persecute the Other so they gain allies among us. Do not fall for that.
We have our own hatemongers -- they seek these opportunities too. They are more sophisticated than IS in their tactics but they seek the same. They seek to control us through fear and hate just like IS. They are the ones that hate multiplural, multicultural societies, they are the ones who opposed justice for all.
The same way that we fight the hatemongers among us we must fight IS. We should not engage in the blame game of who created IS and inevitably conclude that it is a Western creation -- that if oppression didn't exist IS wouldn't exist. That approach is simplistic, and in many ways, ethnocentric.
There is an "US" and there is a "Them" but who is who is not defined by borders, race, religion, ethnicity or any other artificial marker of difference.
There is an "US" that would like to live in a world where all skin colors are worth the same, all cultures and religions respected, all sexual and gender preferences valued equally -- a world in which all lives are worth exactly the same and people are free to choose who and what they want to be.
And there is a "Them" hellbent on keeping us hating each. Deny them that opportunity and both domestic and foreign terrorists will be defeated.
My heart cries for Paris tonight, it also cries for Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, and every place in the world where hatemongers attempt to strip us of our humanity and pit us against each other.