A nation can demonstrate this catastrophic stupidity, so can be a person when he is entangled in this kind of militant situation and shamefully feeling the urge to prove his masculinity by raising his madness to the dangerous level.
If anything, this once again emphasizes the paramount importance of three qualities in a leader.
(1) Calmness in time of large-scaled crisis.
(2) Ability to resolve conflict through healthy dialogues in any situation that conflict can occurr.
(3) The last and most rare yet also most important of all is the guts and integrity to stand by what one believes is best for his nation and his people. This quality is the touchstone distinguishing a true leader from a follower. This is best exemplified by the late US senator Robert Byrd.
Very often, it seems a political suicide not to cave in to the popular battle cry. In case like this, most politicians are totally without principles. To win popular votes or for their political gain, they readily succumb to the lowest mean spirit of the herd, the majority of people, like the mob lynching of Sherburn in Mark Twain’s Adventure of Huck Finn. In essense, these politicians, never rising above mob mentality, are just followers of the mob instead of leaders.
This is exactly what happened when the majority of democratic party granted George W. Bush broad power to wage a “preemptive” war against Iraq. The only exception is Robert Byrd.
I wish my children will read about this and learn something from these events.