Twelve-year-olds don’t choose to become suicide bombers.
And true believers don’t send children as martyrs in place of themselves. The perpetrators of last week’s vicious attack on a Kurdish wedding in Turkey believe in nothing so much as violence as a means to their own power. It’s a sad sign of the times that we can almost admire the zealots of a few years ago who willingly gave their own lives for their ideals, no matter how convoluted those ideals may have been.
When fanatics eagerly give the last full measure of devotion — for which Abraham Lincoln praised the Union soldiers who sacrificed their lives at Gettysburg — we have to ask ourselves if we are prepared to sacrifice as much for our noble values as our enemies readily sacrifice in the name of terror.