I'm sorry, but as early as grade school anyone can see that bullies beat up on kids who show weakness. And no less a bully than Osama bin Laden opined that when given a choice between a strong horse and a weak horse, people favor the strong horse. As further evidence, I'd point out that Khadafy only surrendered his WMD program when he saw what America had done to Saddam. And did A'jad and his Islamist friends take American hostages in '79 because we were too strong? Did they feel sorry for the failure of Desert One? Or did they view it as an example of American weakness?