Poking the Russian Bear

With increasing forensic evidence pointing to an in-air explosion as the cause of the crash of the Russian airliner over the Sinai, the taunting claim from ISIS that it is responsible for the disaster is becoming ever more convincing.  Coming just weeks after the major Russian escalation of its military role in support of the Assad regime in Syria, it is not difficult to understand the motivation for the terrorist event.  But it is a different matter when trying to fathom the wisdom of attacking Russian sun-seekers, vacationers returning to their northern motherland from a tropical vacation, innocent citizens far separated from their nation's geopolitical activities.  It is a bloody provocation the instigators well may come to regret.

In the few years that ISIS has been extant, there have been many occasions when its members' behaviors have been brutally bizarre and unnecessarily provocative – symbolic pokes in the eye of Western sensibilities – but they have thus far refrained from such a terrorist attack on American citizens.  Whether or not such an attack would bring any sort of meaningful response from the clueless and neutered puppy in our White House, there should be little doubt that poking the Russian bear in such brutal fashion will draw a disproportionate response that will result in the deaths of far more ISIS followers than the number of Russian civilians blown to dust over the Sinai.  And it is quite easy to predict that the Russian response will not be limited in any way as a bow to humane Western sensibilities.

It is glaringly obvious to the world, except perhaps to the wildly unpredictable ISIS leadership, that Vladimir Putin is no Barack Obama.  It is not a matter of whether but rather when the Russian leader will take his revenge upon ISIS for those innocent vacationers.  It is not difficult to assume that the Russian response will be sufficiently disproportionate so as to provide a memorable lesson, not just to ISIS, but to the myriad terrorist organizations that might consider testing Russian mettle.

If I may be so bold as to offer a suggestion to Colonel Putin, why not bring in Russian strategic bombers and carpet-bomb the entire ISIS operational area until nothing remains except smoking sand, a strategy I have long been urging our own ineptly commanded military to pursue?  Such a response might make future terrorist planners consider options other than killing innocent Russian civilians.  Let them learn the wisdom of neither poking the Bear nor killing her cubs.

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