From the moment the video emerged of ISIS executing Jordanian pilot Lt. Moaz al-Kasaesbeh, US officials were salivating at the prospect of Jordan being sucked deeper into their war. It looks like they may get their wish.
Jordan’s public policy is now officially centered on a Moby Dick-style quest for revenge, and US officials couldn’t be happier, seeing heedless escalation as something that can only benefit the war effort.
Exactly what Jordan intends to do still isn’t clear, but the rhetoric suggests it will be anything an unlimited and endless war, with King Abdullah saying the only problem they’d have is “running out of fuel and bullets.”
Kasaesbeh was a member of a powerful tribe in Jordan, and they are pushing the calls for revenge against ISIS, which has turned into official state policy, with officials believing that they can somehow out-brutal ISIS into an outright victory.
The White House isn’t attempting to disabuse them of this notion, even though every other nation that has decided they can “beat” ISIS with harsh reactions as seen their policy benefit ISIS and give them more recruitment power and influence.
The White House was publicly comfortable with Jordan’s initial revenge killings, saying the deaths were in keeping with the Jordanian justice system. They seem unlikely to criticize any of the further killings Jordan has promised to carry out.