There's a lot of Romneyesque rhetoric wandering around these days as to how President Obama ought to go after the bad guys in the Middle East--Egypt, Libya, Syria, wherever. Eugene Robinson offers an example in today's Washington Post of a time when a different philosophy prevailed.
The President was Ronald Reagan; terriorists attacked U.S. Marine barracks in 1983 and killed 241 Americans. Reagan's response? He withdrew the remaining U.S. forces from Lebanon. Things stayed fairly calm, as I remember. No major war, for sure.
The point isn't that that would work now. I don't know whether it would or not. The point is that force doesn't always work either. Good grief, some foolish president invaded Iraq and Afghanistan in the first place. Bad calls? Polls show most of us think so now.
Walk softly, one president said, but carry a big stick. He could have added, only use it if you have to. I may be wrong, but I don't think Egypt and Libya and Syria are on the "must bash" list yet.