Not a soul could help but be outraged by the two recent atrocities that the Islamic State (IS) has unleashed upon the world. The first of these was the immolation of Jordanian fighter pilot Muath al-Kasasbeh on Feb. 3, followed a short time later by the ceremonial execution of 21 Egyptian captives in Libya. This last horror show not only gave IS bonus points for wreaking fear among the general public, but also embedded images in the international community's awareness of a new arena taken over by the group. So far we have seen Syria, Iraq and the Sinai Peninsula, and now there is also Libya. Traces of IS can be found in each of these places, and if not IS per se, then at least its corrupt legacy.
While this terrorism is essentially homegrown, the West cannot be absolved of its contribution to encouraging it. In three out of the four current hotspots, at least one Western country was involved in laying the groundwork for it. The Americans ousted Saddam Hussein in Iraq; France instigated the military operation against Moammar Gadhafi of Libya; and the rebels who aspire to topple the Syrian regime have long enjoyed the steady support of France, Great Britain and the United States.