In 2011, after President Obama used a drone to kill Anwar al-Awlaki, the American citizen who was recruiting jihadists from his perch in Yemen, many hailed the assassination as a powerful blow against terrorism.
"The death of al-Awlaki is the last nail in the coffin of the al Qaeda brand,"wrote Lisa Merriam (a "brand consultant") in a piece for Forbes. "Yes, bombs are what we think of when we think of al Qaeda, but powerful bombs require a powerful brand. The al Qaeda brand has been the key to raising awareness, raising an army of recruits, raising money, and raising terror. Now that the brand is dead, all of those goals are out of reach."
Tell that to the people of Boston. The more we learn about the Boston Marathon bombing--and the accused bombers, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev--the more reason there is to doubt the wisdom of Obama's drone-heavy approach to fighting terrorism. Not only did his hundreds of drone strikes fail to prevent the bombing; they've probably made this kind of terrorism--home-grown terrorism, committed by longtime residents of America--more likely.